Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, a noted philanthropist and the mother of the media owner Rupert, has died at her home in Australia aged 103.
She was a patron of the arts and was made a Dame for her charitable work by the Queen in 1963. Married to the newspaper owner Keith Murdoch in 1928, Dame Elisabeth leaves behind 77 direct descendants.
The News Corp chairman and chief executive is himself 81 and has cited his mother’s long life as a reason why he will not retire.
The Murdoch family issued a statement in tribute to its matriarch, who passed away at her home at Cruden Farm in Melbourne, having recently been admitted to hospital after falling and breaking a leg. It said: “We have lost the most wonderful mother but we are all grateful to have had her love and wisdom for so many years. 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.”