Mother of mogul Rupert Murdoch dies, aged 103

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DAME Elisabeth Murdoch, a prominent Australian philanthropist and mother of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has died, aged 103.

News Ltd, the Australian media company headed by her son, confirmed her death. She died peacefully surrounded by family in her garden estate outside Melbourne.

She had been in hospital since September after a bad fall in which she broke her leg.

Rupert Murdoch said in a statement issued on behalf of the family: “We have lost the most wonderful mother, but we are all grateful to have had her love and wisdom for so many years.”

She has 77 direct descendants, including 50 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.

Mr Murdoch, 81, has said that his mother’s long life was evidence that he would be able to continue leading News Corp, the global media company which he founded, for many years.

Dame Elisabeth was a patron of the arts and contributed to an estimated 100 charities annually. She was the widow of Sir Keith Murdoch, a journalist and newspaper publisher, and the mother of four children – Rupert Murdoch, Anne Kantor, Janet Calvert-Jones, and Helen Handbury, who died in 2004.

Her family said arrangements for a memorial service were still being decided, but that the funeral was expected to be private.