Lifestyle & Belief

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, mother of Rupert, dead at 103


Dame Elizabeth Murdoch attends an Australia Day reception at Government House on January 21, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. She died Wednesday at age 103.


Chris Jackson

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, News Corp. CEO's Rupert Murdoch's mother, has died at 103. 

Dame Murdoch was widely known and loved for her philanthropy and charity work, supporting Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital, the National Gallery of Victoria, and over 110 more charities over the course of her lifetime, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

In 1963, the Queen make her a Dame Commander of the British Empire for her service to the community, ABC News Australia reported.

She died peacefully at her home in Langwarrin, Australia, according to the Australian

In addition to Rupert, she leaves behind two surviving daughters, Anne Kantor and Janet Calvert-Jones. Her oldest daughter Helen Handbury died in 2004.

She is also survived by at least 77 living direct descendants, including five great-great grandchildren, according to the Australian. 

"Throughout her life, our mother demonstrated the very best qualities of true public service," Rupert Murdoch said in a statement to the News Corp.-owned Wall Street Journal. "Her energy and personal commitment made our country a more hopeful place and she will be missed by many."

Dame Murdoch is reported to have frequently opposed her son's choices, both personally and professionally, the Guardian reported

She said that his purchase of News of the World "nearly killed her," and spoke out against her son's newspapers' questionable practices. 

"I think the invasion of people's privacy is the worst thing," she reportedly said in an interview with the Daily Beast. "I think privacy is anybody's right. I really do."

Dame Elisabeth felt that her wealth should be used for good, and is quoted as saying that "Wealth can be misused but generally speaking, it's a tremendous tool in helping the community," ABC News reported. 

“I’d like to feel that I made a difference to a lot of people’s lives,” Dame Murdoch said. 

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