Rupert Murdoch, 92, Plans to Marry for 5th Time

AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File
Rupert Murdoch talks with the media after he held a meeting with the parents and sister of murdered school girl Milly Dowler in London, Friday, July 15, 2011. Murdoch, whose 93rd birthday is next week, is planning to get married for the fifth time, wedding Elena Zhukova, his representative said Saturday, March 9, 2024.

Media magnate Rupert Murdoch, who turns 93 next week, has been married four times — and is engaged again, his representative said Saturday.

He plans to marry Elena Zhukova, 67, a Russian-born retired scientist he met last year.

Her ex-husband Alexander Zhukov is a billionaire energy investor and Russian politician. Their daughter Dasha was previously married to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who used to own the Premier League football club Chelsea.

Last fall Murdoch stepped down as leader of both Fox News’ parent company and his News Corp. media holdings — and his son, Lachlan, took his place in a media empire that spans continents and helped to shape modern American politics.

In 1952, Murdoch inherited a newspaper in his native Australia from his father. Over decades, he built a news and entertainment enterprise that became dominant in the United States and Britain, including ownership of such historic newspapers as The Times of London and The Wall Street Journal.

Fox News Channel, the 24-hour network founded in 1996, has profoundly influenced television, becoming a trusted news source among many conservative U.S. audiences and politicians.

It has also had very public struggles. Last year, it paid $787 million to settle a defamation lawsuit related to its coverage of false claims about the 2020 presidential election results.

A few months earlier, Fox had ousted prime-time host Tucker Carlson, the network’s most popular TV personality, whose political theories and fiery commentaries made him an influential force in GOP politics.

In addition to Fox News, Rupert Murdoch started the Fox broadcast network, the first to successfully challenge the Big Three of ABC, CBS and NBC, with shows like “The Simpsons.” He has also controlled the New York Post, another popular conservative outlet.

Murdoch has been married four times and shares six children with three of his wives. Murdoch’s family were said to be the model for the HBO drama ” Succession.” The family’s wealth is estimated by Forbes to be about $19 billion.

Murdoch’s latest marriage, to model and actor Jerry Hall, ended in divorce after six years in 2022. They had no children together.

Previously, he was married to Patricia Booker, an Australian, with whom he had Prudence, and then to Scottish-born journalist Anna Torv, with whom he had Lachlan, James and Elisabeth. These four Murdoch children have the same stake in the family trust and an equal say in what happens to the trust’s voting stock upon Murdoch’s death. He later married Chinese-born Wendi Deng, whom he divorced in 2013 after having two daughters, Grace and Chloe.

Last spring he was engaged to Ann Lesley Smith for about two weeks.