Lachlan Murdoch, the eldest son of the media magnate Rupert Murdoch, will become the chairman of News Corp, one of the largest mass media corporations in the world; Lachlan’s mother is Anna Maria dePeyster, a daughter of an Estonian merchant seaman Jakob Tõrv – thus making Lachlan an Estonian, too.
Lachlan Murdoch is set to take over his father’s media empire that consists of numerous news media, publishing and television entities. News Corp owns Dow Jones, the publisher of the Wall Street Journal; News UK, the publisher of the Sun and the Times; News Corp Australia, some real estate websites in both the US and Australia, and HarperCollins, a large book publisher.
Ruper Murdoch, 92, announced on 21 September that he’ll step down as the chairman of News Corp and Fox Corp – the parent of Fox News Channel – and Lachlan will become the new chair of News Corp while remaining the chief executive and chairman at Fox Corp.
According to the Associated Press, this makes Lachlan the “undisputed leader of the media empire his father built over decades”. The AP says there’s no real sign that his siblings and former rivals James and Elisabeth contested him for the top job; James in particular has distanced himself from the company and his father’s politics for several years.
However, some media outlets have speculated that should Rupert Murdoch die, his other children may then contest Lachlan’s appointment. And the AP also notes that Rupert Murdoch “has long had a penchant for building up his oldest children only to later undermine them – and sometimes to set them against one another – often flipping the table without notice”.
But not many may know that Lachlan Murdoch – and also Elizabeth and James Murdoch – is of Estonian descent. Namely, their grandfather, Jakob Tõrv, was an Estonian. Their mother, Anna Maria dePeyster (née Torv, formerly Murdoch and Mann), was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1944 to Jakob Tõrv (who would anglicise his name to Jacob Torv) and Sylvia Braida, a Scottish drycleaner.
The new chairman of a multi-billion-dollar company
Anna Maria, a journalist and a novelist, was married to Rupert Murdoch from 1967 to 1999, being Rupert’s second wife. Even though she had been born in Scotland, her father later moved to Australia, where Anna Maria met the then-36-year-old Murdoch, and would become the mother of three out of six of Rupert’s children.
Lachlan himself was born in London, but was raised in New York City. He later graduated from Princeton University, an Ivy League school, with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy.
The Tõrv “dynasty” also has other notable members, namely Anna Torv, a famous Australian actress. She’s Anna Maria’s niece, the daughter of Susan Carmichael and Hans Arvid Torv – Anna Maria’s brother. And that relation makes Anna Torv a cousin to Anna Maria’s children, including Lachlan. Anna Torv is famous from the Netflix crime thriller Mindhunter and the HBO drama series The Last of Us.
News Corp, the company Lachlan Murdoch is set to take over, is one of the largest media companies in the world. Its total assets are around USD17 billion, it employs around 25,000 people, and its total revenue in 2023 to date is a little less than USD10 billion. Its market capitalisation is USD12.15 billion.
Fox Corp, the entity Lachlan is already leading, has assets over USD22 billion, employs about 9,000 people, and has a total revenue in 2023 to date of almost USD13 billion. Fox Corp’s market capitalisation is almost USD15 billion.