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Rupert Murdoch's four failed marriages and abrupt end to fifth engagement

NewsRupert Murdoch's four failed marriages and abrupt end to fifth engagement

Rupert Murdoch, who announced today he is stepping down from Fox and News Corp, had a record two-week engagement earlier this year after four failed marriages.

The billionaire shared the news of his engagement to Ann Lesley Smith in March but called it off just two weeks later.

A spokesman for the media mogul declined to comment at the time, while a source said it would not be a “great leap” to say that their relationship had come to an end.

Murdoch’s first marriage was to Patricia Booker in 1956 – with the couple having one child together. The pair were married for 11 years and divorced in 1967.

He then married Anna Torv in 1967. She was known as Anna Murdoch during her marriage to the billionaire and met him while working for his Sydney newspaper, the Daily Mirror.

They share three children together, Elisabeth, 54, Lachlan, 51, and James, 50.

Three months after his separation from Torv in 1998, Murdoch was made a Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great (KSG), a papal honour awarded by the late Pope John Paul II.

Murdoch and Torv were married for 31 years, making this his longest marriage to date.

The couple separated in April 1998 and divorced two months later. 

Murdoch then married Wendi Deng in 1999, an entrepreneur whom he met just two years earlier. Deng, who is 37 years younger than the media mogul, had two daughters with Murdoch – Grace and Chloe. 

Deng is perhaps best remembered for slapping a protester in July 2011 to protect her husband at the time. 

She launched herself at a protester who was rushing to Murdoch with a shaving cream pie amid a parliamentary hearing surrounding phone hacking allegations within News Corp.

Murdoch told reporters in 2011 that the two met at a cocktail party just after Deng graduated with an MBA from Yale.

Their marriage ended in 2013, three years before Murdoch married his fourth wife, Jerry Hall.

When he filed the divorce papers, he said his marriage with Deng had “broken down irretrievably”.

Murdoch and Jerry Hall were publicly spotted together at a 2015 Rugby World Cup match before they married the next year.

Murdoch was 84 years old at the time of their marriage and the former model was 59 years old. Hall was previously in a long-term relationship with Mick Jagger, with whom she has four kids.

Hall and Murdoch announced their separation in 2022.

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