Dame Elisabeth Murdoch on her 103 birthday. (AAP Image/Joe Castro)
Dame Elisabeth Murdoch on her 103 birthday. (AAP Image/Joe Castro)

Rupert Murdoch's mum dies at 103 after lifetime of giving

DAME Elisabeth Murdoch, one of Australia's biggest givers to  a good cause and the mother of our biggest media mogul, has died in her Melbourne home at age 103.

News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch said his mother would be mourned by thousands of Australians who had been touched by her generosity.

"We have lost the most wonderful mother but we are all grateful to have had her love and wisdom for so many years,'' he said in a statement released on behalf of her extended family.

"Throughout her life, 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.''

Mr Murdoch posted a Twitter message on Thursday morning saying his mother's loss was "still a blow" despite her age.

"Many thanks for condolences about my mum. A great lady wife, mother and citizen," he wrote.

Dame Elisabeth's death was confirmed by News Ltd in a statement late Wednesday evening.

She had survived a bad fall less than three months ago in which she broke her leg and went to hospital.

Dame Elisabeth died peacefully on Wednesday night at  her beloved garden estate set on more than 54 hectares in Melbourne's outer southeast.

She was the wife of Sir Keith Murdoch and mother to four children including Rupert Murdoch, Anne Kantor and Janet Calvert-Jones.

Her eldest daughter, Helen Handbury, died in 2004.

A patron of the arts, she had celebrated her 103rd birthday in February this year with grandson Lachlan Murdoch at a concert in her honour at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

Dame Elisabeth had supported an estimated 100 charities annually and was beloved for her life-long commitment to helping others.

She had 50 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the Murdoch family is asking for donations to be made to the Murdoch Children's Research Institute.

Her funeral is expected to be a private affair.


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