Who are Rupert Murdoch’s children? What to know about the media magnate’s successor and family

Sep 21, 2023, 1:57 PM

Media magnate Rupert Murdoch says he will step down as the leader of Fox News' parent company and h...

Media magnate Rupert Murdoch says he will step down as the leader of Fox News' parent company and his News Corp. media holdings, with son Lachlan set to take his place. (AP Graphic)

(AP Graphic)

NEW YORK (AP) — Media magnate Rupert Murdoch on Monday announced that he would be stepping down as the leader of both Fox News’ parent company and his News Corp media holdings — with his son, Lachlan, set to take his place.

Through his decades-long career, Murdoch, 92, built an empire — beginning with his father’s newspaper in Adelaide, Australia — and became a multibillionaire. In the U.S., his creation of Fox News has notably influenced American politics, making Murdoch a hero to some and pariah to others.

Over the years, Murdoch’s family has also risen into the spotlight — accompanied by stories of vindictive business tactics and inter-family rivalries. Murdoch and his family, particularly children James, Lachlan, Elisabeth and Prudence, were said to be the model of the HBO show “Succession.”

Murdoch has been married four times and shares six children with three of his wives.


Lachlan Murdoch is one of Murdoch’s sons with his second wife, Anna. With his father stepping down, Lachlan is set to become News Corp. chairman and continue as chief executive officer of Fox Corp., home to conservative news network Fox News, the Fox broadcast and sports networks, and local TV stations.

Lachlan has been CEO for Fox Corp. since 2019, following Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Before the merger, he served as executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, starting in 2015 — while his brother, James, was CEO of Fox’s then-entertainment business in what analysts described as a competitive power-share concocted by their father.

Lachlan rose to executive ranks of the family business, then known collectively as News Corp, in the 1990s and early 2000s. While serving as deputy chief operating officer from 2000 to 2005, his titles also included chairman of Fox Television Stations and publisher of the New York Post.

According to CNN, Lachlan temporarily left over a battle with former top executive Roger Ailes about the network’s direction in 2005 — before returning as 21st Century Fox executive chairman about a decade later. During his hiatus, he founded private investment company Illyria Pty.


James Murdoch is Lachlan’s younger brother, also among the children from their father’s second marriage.

In addition to his time as CEO at 21st Century Fox, James held various executive positions at News. Corp over the years, but later resigned from family-controlled publisher’s board over content appearing in its newspapers, which include the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.

In his 2020 resignation, James — known as the more liberal Murdoch brother — said he stepped down “due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the Company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions.” James had previously criticized News Corp’s editorial decisions and said he disagreed with Fox News coverage.

Before his time in the family business, James dropped out of Harvard University in 1995 to develop a record label, Rawkus Records, which was later bought by News Corp, according to several news reports.

In the years following, he served as CEO of Star India, CEO of Sky (then British Sky Broadcasting) and chairman of Sky. James was embroiled in the 2011 News of the World phone hacking scandal along with his father, but both Murdochs denied responsibility.


Elisabeth Murdoch is the eldest child of Murdoch’s second marriage.

Like her brothers, Elisabeth began working her way through the family business decades ago and was poised to take on similar responsibilities — but was not granted the same leadership roles and later began her own media ventures.

In the late ’90s, Elisabeth served as managing director of Sky Networks for British Sky Broadcasting but left the company in the 2000s after being overlooked for the position of chief executive, according to news reports at the time.

A year later, she launched her own independent production company, Shine, which was acquired by News Corp in 2011. This initially brought her into a more prominent position in the family business, but her role was diminished when Shine later merged with Endemol in a joint venture and she stepped away from day-to-day operations.

In 2019, Elisabeth co-founder global content company Sister, and has remained active as an entrepreneur and philanthropist across the entertainment and creative industries.


Prudence Murdoch MacLeod is Murdoch’s oldest child from his first wife, Patricia.

Unlike some of her half-siblings, Prudence has not showed the same interest in rising to the top the family business — but she has the same stake in the family trust as Lachlan, James and Elisabeth as well as an equal say in what happens to the trust’s voting stock in both companies upon Murdoch’s death.

Prudence didn’t completely distance herself from News Corp and has still held several roles within the company over the years. She recently sat on the board of Times Newspapers, Ltd. from December 2010 to March 2022, according to the U.K. publisher’s website. Times Newspapers is a subsidiary of News UK, which is owned by News Corp.


Grace and Chloe Murdoch are Rupert Murdoch’s youngest children, whom he shares with his third wife, Wendi Deng.

According to media reports and their LinkedIn accounts, Grace attends Yale University and Chloe is a student at Stanford University. The two are beneficiaries of ample non-voting shares being held in a separate trust.


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Who are Rupert Murdoch’s children? What to know about the media magnate’s successor and family