Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Dies, Aged 103; Wife To Keith, Mother To Rupert, Philanthropist

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, mother of media magnate Rupert, has died at her home, Cruden Farm, in Melbourne.

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch

Dame Elisabeth reportedly died on Tuesday. She was 103 years, 300 days old. She was born in Melbourne on February 8, 1909.

Dame Elisabeth’s husband, Sir Keith Murdoch, died 60 years ago, in October 1952. She was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1963.

In 1928, aged 19, Elisabeth Joy Greene married Keith Murdoch, then 23 years her senior. Murdoch, already well known as a journalist, and famous for his World War I campaign against General John Monash, was soon to begin a campaign to take over Australian newspapers. By the time Murdoch died, he had amassed a small media empire known as News Limited, centred on the Adelaide News. Elisabeth’s son Rupert subsequently built News Limited into a global media empire that he still presides over at the age of 81.

Dame Elisabeth devoted much of her life to philanthropy. Active in the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals before her marriage, she was on the management committee of the Royal Children’s Hospital in the 1930s. She was involved with the Australian Ballet, the National Gallery of Victoria, the Deafness Foundation, the Epilepsy Foundation and numerous other organisations and charities.

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