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Rupert Murdoch engaged again – who were his previous wives? | World News

Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall on their wedding day in 2016. Pic: Reuters/Neil Hall
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Rupert Murdoch is preparing to wed for the fifth time – 68 years after he first got married.

The 92-year-old media mogul – who turns 93 on 11 March – is set to marry retired molecular biologist Elena Zhukova, 67, at his California vineyard.

The engagement comes just months after the former Fox Corp chairman and Sky News founder called off his previous engagement, and two years after his most recent divorce.

From his first bride in the ’50s to the wedding he called off and his latest fiancée, these are the women Mr Murdoch has married and been engaged to through the years…

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Patricia Booker

Pic: Judie Burstein/Globe Photos/Shutterstock
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Murdoch and Patricia Booker in 1991. Pic: Judie Burstein/Globe Photos/Shutterstock


Mr Murdoch’s first marriage was to Australian flight attendant Patricia Booker.

The pair married in 1956 and welcomed a daughter, Prudence, two years later. They divorced in 1967.

While Mr Murdoch’s family life and children are infamously said to have inspired the hit series Succession, Prudence has stayed out of the limelight and away from her father’s businesses.

Anna Mann

Rupert and Anna Murdoch at the Oscars in 1998. Pic: AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian
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Rupert and Anna at the Oscars in 1998. Pic: AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian

Mr Murdoch’s longest marriage was to Scottish journalist Anna Mann, born Anna Torv, who he was married to from 1967 to 1999.

Ms Mann, from Glasgow, was working in Australia for a Murdoch-owned newspaper when she met the mogul. They had three children together; Elisabeth, born in 1968, Lachlan, born in 1971 and James, born in 1972.

During their marriage, Ms Mann narrowly escaped a kidnap attempt when in 1969, two brothers killed the wife of Mr Murdoch’s News Limited deputy – who they had mistaken for her.

Wendi Deng

Rupert Murdoch and wife Wendi Deng tied the knot on his yacht in New York in 1999
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Rupert Murdoch and wife Wendi Deng tied the knot on his yacht in New York in 1999. Pic: Reuters

Mr Murdoch married his third wife, Wendi Deng, in 1999 – less than three weeks after his previous divorce was finalised.

Ms Deng was working at a Murdoch-owned company in Hong Kong when they met at a party in 1997.

The China-born Deng went on to have an “enormous impact” on Mr Murdoch’s life,” according to his biographer, and gave her husband an image overhaul in the early noughties.

While she never held an official position at News Corp, she’s considered to have influenced its dealings in Asia.

During a July 2011 parliamentary hearing on phone hacking, she leapt into the spotlight when she jumped in front of her husband to protect him from a protester throwing a cream pie.

Ms Deng and Mr Murdoch had two daughters together – Grace, born in 2001, and Chloe, born in 2003 – before divorcing in 2013.

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Ms Deng leapt into action when a protestor targeted her then-husband. Pic: Reuters
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Ms Deng leapt into action when a protester targeted her then husband. Pic: Reuters

Jerry Hall

Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall at their London wedding on 5 March 2016. Pic: Reuters/Peter Nicholls
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Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall at their London wedding on 5 March 2016. Pic: Reuters/Peter Nicholls

The media mogul married Jerry Hall in a church on London’s Fleet Street in 2016, just four months after they first met.

Mr Murdoch, then 84, tweeted that he felt “like the luckiest AND happiest man in the world” after the ceremony, but unfortunately it wasn’t to last.

The pair split six years on, and it later emerged that Mr Murdoch allegedly ended the marriage via email.

Texas-born Ms Hall found fame as a model in the 1970s and was featured on numerous Vogue covers. She became a muse for artists including Lucian Freud and later moved into acting.

Ms Hall had a 22-year relationship with Mick Jagger, frontman of The Rolling Stones, which ended in 1999. They had four children together.

Ann Lesley Smith

Mr Murdoch’s latest engagement is his second in as many years.

In March 2023, he announced his engagement to Ann Lesley Smith, a former police chaplain, and said: “I dreaded falling in love – but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy.”

The pair never made it up the aisle though as their split was reported just two weeks later.

Elena Zhukova

Rupert Murdoch and Elena Zhukova. Pics: Reuters and Rex/David X Prutting/BFA/Shutterstock
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Rupert Murdoch and Elena Zhukova. Pics: Reuters and Rex/David X Prutting/BFA/Shutterstock

Ms Zhukova, Mr Murdoch’s latest fiancée, was introduced to him by his third wife, Wendi Deng.

The biologist has been described as “very well-connected” by society magazine Tatler and her daughter, Dasha Zhukova, was married to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich until 2017. She is now wed to billionaire Greek shipping heir Stavros Niarchos III.

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