All About Rupert Murdoch's Wives

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Rupert Murdoch was previously married to Patricia Booker, Anna Maria Torv, Wendi Deng and Jerry Hall

Neil Mockford/GC Images
Neil Mockford/GC Images

Rupert Murdoch has been married four times.

The media mogul, 92, first tied the knot in 1956 at age 25 to Patricia Booker, with whom he welcomed his firstborn child in 1958. He then wed Anna Maria Torv in 1967, Wendi Deng in 1999 and Jerry Hall in 2016.

Over the course of his marriages, Murdoch — who announced his plan to retire as chairman of Fox and News Corps on Sept. 21 — welcomed six children in total, with three of his four wives.

After divorcing Hall in August 2022, the media tycoon announced his engagement to Ann Lesley Smith the following March. Murdoch proposed on St. Patrick's Day in 2023 and shared the news to his own paper, The New York Post, a few days later.

"I was very nervous. I dreaded falling in love — but I knew this would be my last," he said. "It better be. I'm happy."

In April 2023, a source close to Murdoch told PEOPLE that he and Smith called off their engagementVanity Fair first broke the news of their split, reporting that Murdoch had become uncomfortable with Smith's evangelical beliefs.

Here's what to know about Murdoch's four wives.

Related: The Murdoch Family: All About the Real-Life People Who Inspired 'Succession'

Patricia Booker

<p>Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty</p>

Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty

Murdoch was 25 when he and Booker got married in 1956. Booker, who like Murdoch was an Australian native, was a flight attendant from Adelaide and a part-time department store model.

During their marriage, Murdoch and Booker welcomed one child, daughter Prudence, in 1958. Unlike her half-siblings, Prudence has stayed uninvolved from the Murdoch's family business.

After 11 years of marriage, Murdoch and Booker divorced in 1967. Two years later, she wed Freddie Maeder, described as a “bad-news Swiss jet-setter" by Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff. According to Vanity Fair, Booker began a "partying" life with Maeder, often leaving daughter Prudence behind.

While little information is known about Booker's death, it's been reported that she died in 1998.

Related: Rupert Murdoch, 92, Retiring as Chairman of Fox and News Corps, Making Son the Sole Exec of His Media Empire

Anna Maria Torv

<p>Mike McLaren/Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty</p>

Mike McLaren/Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty

The same year Murdoch divorced from his first wife Booker in 1967, he wed Scottish-born Anna Maria Torv. They were in a relationship for 32 years, marking the media mogul's longest marriage.

Murdoch and Torv — a former journalist, who began working at the Sydney Daily Mirror at age 18— divorced in 1999. Several years later, Torv opened up to Australian Women's Weekly about their split.

"I began to think the Rupert Murdoch that I loved died a long time ago," she said. "Perhaps I was in love with the idea of still being in love with him. But the Rupert I fell in love with could not have behaved this way."

Torv described Murdoch as "extremely hard, ruthless and determined" during the divorce, despite her efforts to "save the marriage." She added, "He had no interest in that whatsoever."

"I've waited all this time for him to make it right again, but he never took the opportunity," explained Torv of Murdoch, who she said "behaved badly." She told the outlet that she "said nothing" about her ex husband's behavior in the immediate years that followed for her "children's sake."

Related: All About Lachlan Murdoch, the Eldest Son of Rupert Murdoch and Successor to Fox and News Corp Media Empire

During their time together, Murdoch and Torv welcomed three kids: daughter Elisabeth (born in 1968), son Lachlan (born in 1971) and son James (born in 1972). All three have been involved in News Corp with their father and experienced speculation about who had the potential to be the next leader of the family business.

Torv, however, told the outlet that she didn't want her kids involved. "I think that they are all so good that they could do whatever they wanted, really," she said. "But I think there's going to be a lot of heartbreak and hardship with this [succession]. There's been such a lot of pressure that they needn't have had at their age."

Fox News announced on Sept. 21 that Murdoch will transfer his authority to Lachlan when he steps down as chairman of Fox Corp and News Corp in November, assuming the honorary "chairman emeritus" status. Lachlan congratulated his father for a 70-year career in media upon the news of his retirement.

After splitting from Murdoch, Torv married William Mann within 12 months. "One door closes and another door opens. Sometimes you just have to open that door," she told Australian Women's Weekly.

Wendi Deng

<p>Allen Berezovsky/WireImage</p>

Allen Berezovsky/WireImage

About two weeks after finalizing his divorce from Torv in 1999, Murdoch married Wendi Deng, then 30, in a secret ceremony on his yacht in New York Harbour.

Born and raised in China, Deng met her then-husband at the Murdoch–owned Star TV in Hong Kong, where, she told Vogue, she was the only Chinese executive there when they met in 1997. (She had lived in the United States on a student visa previously and graduated from Yale's MBA program.)

Deng is an entrepreneur, investor, movie producer and art collector currently based out of Southampton, New York, according to her Instagram bio. Her friends described her to The New York Times as "a world-class networker, collecting powerful friends and brokering connections."

During Murdoch and Deng's marriage, they welcomed two daughters: Grace (born in 2001) and Chloe (born in 2003). They grew up in New York and both currently attend university, living much more private lives in comparison to Murdoch's older children.

In 2013, Murdoch and Deng divorced after 14 years of marriage. "I don’t think I ever considered myself just a rich wife," she told Vogue in 2016. "When E-Trade first started, I was at home moving stocks around.”

Jerry Hall

Neil Mockford/GC Images
Neil Mockford/GC Images

Murdoch married his fourth wife, Jerry Hall, in 2016 after first being introduced by one of his sisters and his niece in Australia. They wed in a civil ceremony at Spencer House in London before their main wedding service at the historic Fleet Street’s St. Brides Church.

"Feel like the luckiest AND happiest man in the world," the media mogul tweeted after his civil marriage to Texas-born Hall, a former model and actress.

Prior to tying the knot with Murdoch, Hall was the long-term partner of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, with whom she has four children: Elizabeth Scarlett (born in 1984), James Leroy (born in 1985), Georgia May (born in 1992) and Gabriel Luke (born in 1997).

“I’ve met Jerry only briefly once, when she dropped off Grace,” Deng told Vogue of Hall in 2016. “She seems very nice, and my girls like her. I always tell them to treat her kindly. She’s their father’s wife.”

Murdoch and Hall were married for six years and divorced in August 2022. "They remain good friends and wish each other the best for the future," Murdoch's attorney, Robert S. Cohen, and Hall's attorney, Judith L. Poller, said in a statement.

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