Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, the mother of News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, has died at age 103. She died peacefully at the Murdoch family home, Cruden Farm, in Melbourne, Australia.
“We have lost the most wonderful mother but we are all grateful to have had her love and wisdom for so many years,” read a family statement. “Throughout her life, our mother demonstrated the very best qualities of true public service. Her energy and personal commitment made our country a more hopeful place and she will be missed by many.”
In a New Yorker story about Rupert Murdoch’s daughter, the younger Elisabeth Murdoch, author Ken Auletta shared an anecdote about the family matriarch.
Rupert Murdoch, who is eighty-one, abhors the gossip about his successor. Like Charles de Gaulle, he cannot imagine death knocking on his door. He maintains a careful diet, works out with a trainer, and reminds people that his mother, Dame Elisabeth, is a hundred and three years old. “When the Queen Mum died, at one hundred and one,” Roger Ailes recalls, “I said to Rupert, ‘She had a good run.’ ” Murdoch replied, “I’d call it an early death.”