Three generations of the Murdoch family were celebrated on Tuesday night at the American Australian Association’s 75th Anniversary Benefit Dinner in New York City.
Media icon Rupert Murdoch and his son Lachlan have advanced the legacy of Sir Keith Murdoch, who founded the American Australian Association to “develop, broaden and strengthen the relationships between leaders” of the two nations in 1948.
“On behalf of my father and me, it’s great to be with you all tonight. The alliance between America and Australia has been enduring because it is grounded in shared cultural values,” Lachlan said with his father looking on.
“We are nations made up of first peoples, and immigrants, young, optimistic, and multicultural,” he continued. “We have fought together in every major war since 1918 – 105 years ago. The longevity of this partnership, this testimony, this foundation, and its ongoing relevance, it’s clear that together we are stronger, safer and most likely to succeed.”
Rupert Murdoch announced earlier this year he would transition from his roles as Chair of Fox Corporation and Executive Chairman of News Corp, noting that he’s in good health and Lachlan would become the sole chairman of both companies.
“The American Australian Association has a long and distinguished history of honoring leaders of significance – people who have changed the world and contributed immensely to the American Australian relationship. Our 2023 honorees are no exception,” American Australian Association president John Berry said during his opening remarks at the dinner.
“Tonight, we honor Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, for their incomparable stewardship and leadership that has enabled us to celebrate this Anniversary,” Berry added.
Since 2002, the group has awarded over $16 million to American Australian graduates, veterans and artists. The American Australian Association opened a New York City headquarters this year called The Murdoch Center.
Berry later thanked the Murdoch family for “making this wonderful 75th Anniversary a reality.”
“75 years ago, one person knew ahead of everyone else, ahead of even our ANZUS Alliance Treaty, that our two nations needed to be bonded closer than any nations before. Sir Keith Murdoch knew in his marrow that Australia and America needed to be inextricably linked economically, militarily, and culturally if our shared value of freedom was to truly survive history’s crucible,” Berry said.
“With great foresight he founded the American Australian Association, an organization dedicated to deepening and broadening every aspect of the relationship between our great countries,” he continued. “And with even greater foresight, he inspired his son, Rupert Murdoch, and his grandson, Lachlan, to continue that important mission and lead the organization forward to today.”
Australian entrepreneur Andrew Liveris also discussed Sir Keith Murdoch’s initial vision following World War II.
“In his honor, Rupert carried on this vision, strongly supported by Lachlan. Rupert has embodied the values and ideals underpinning the Association through his own career, becoming one of the greatest Australian business exports of all time. Lachlan has carried on this legacy, through his leadership at FOX and by Co-Chairing the American Australian Association Business Council,” Liveris said.
“To Rupert and Lachlan – thank you,” Liveris continued. “Thank you for your leadership, your conviction and your persistence. You have inspired a new generation of future leaders, who will continue your work binding the ties between our two nations.
The Beach Boys performed for attendees after Lachlan Murdoch spoke.
Rupert Murdoch’s vast media empire includes FOX News Channel, which launched in 1996 under News Corp and quickly established itself as a leader in 24-hour news coverage. It recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and has consistently dominated its competition in the ratings, becoming one of the most influential news sources in the world.
He was Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox from 2015 to the closing of the merger of 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company in March 2019. Murdoch served as CEO of 21st Century Fox from its inception as News Corporation in 1979 until 2015 and as its Chairman from 1991 to 2015.
Rupert Murdoch’s iconic career took off in his mid-20s in 1954 when he took control of News Limited, a public corporation based in his home nation of Australia and previously run by his father. From there, his company bought and founded Australian newspapers and then looked internationally, gaining control of the U.K.’s News of the World and The Sun in 1969, and subsequently buying several U.S. publications, including the New York Post and The Village Voice.
In 1980, News Corporation was established to consolidate the international operations of its growing roster of newspapers, magazines and television assets. By 1985, Murdoch took ownership of Twentieth Century Fox as well as some regional television stations in some major U.S. markets.
The FOX Broadcasting company was launched in 1986, and by 1996, FOX Sports was a smashing success and FOX Network had become the top-ranked television group in the country.
In 2019, led by Murdoch, Fox Corporation was launched as a standalone, publicly traded company following the separation of 21st Century Fox in a deal that yet again redefined the U.S. media landscape. As Fox Corporation, the company produces and distributes content through such brands as FOX News Media, FOX Sports, FOX Entertainment, FOX Television Stations and Tubi Media Group.
Fox News’ David Rutz and Hanna Panreck contributed to this report.
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