If you have been following the news lately, you might have heard of two prominent figures with very similar last names: Rupert Murdoch and Alex Murdaugh. Rupert Murdoch is a media mogul who owns hundreds of publishing outlets around the world, including Fox News and The Wall Street Journal. Alex Murdaugh is a former lawyer who was found guilty of murdering his wife and son in a sensational trial that exposed his financial crimes and drug addiction. But are these two men related in any way? The answer is no.
Rupert Murdoch was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1931. He is the son of Sir Keith Murdoch, a famous newspaperman who built the country’s first newspaper empire. Rupert inherited his father’s business and expanded it into a global media conglomerate. He became a naturalized US citizen in 1985, giving up his Australian citizenship. He has been married four times and has six children, including Prudence, Elisabeth, Lachlan, and James, who are also involved in the media industry.
Alex Murdaugh was born in Hampton, South Carolina, in 1967. He is the scion of a powerful legal dynasty that has dominated the state’s Lowcountry region for more than a century. His great-grandfather, grandfather, and father were all elected solicitors (prosecutors) in the 14th Circuit, which covers five counties. Alex joined the family-founded law firm as a partner and specialized in personal injury cases. He was married to Maggie and had two sons, Paul and Buster.
Rupert Murdoch has been involved in several controversies throughout his career, such as the phone-hacking scandal that led to the closure of his tabloid News of the World in 2011. He has also been accused of using his media influence to sway public opinion and political outcomes in various countries. He has faced criticism for his conservative views and his support for Donald Trump and Brexit. He has also been sued for defamation, libel, and invasion of privacy by several celebrities and public figures.
Alex Murdaugh’s life unraveled after he reported finding his wife and son shot dead at their hunting estate on June 7, 2021. No arrests were made for more than a year, but Murdaugh was indicted last July on two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a weapon while committing a violent crime. He insisted he was not involved in the deaths, but state prosecutors argued he shot them at close range with a rifle and shotgun. He was also facing a wave of financial charges, including allegations he embezzled millions from his clients and colleagues. He admitted to having a severe opioid addiction and to hiring a hitman to kill him so that his surviving son could collect a $10 million life insurance policy.
Rupert Murdoch is still one of the most powerful and wealthy media tycoons in the world. According to Forbes magazine, he has a net worth of $21.7 billion as of March 2022. He is the executive chairman of News Corp, which owns newspapers, magazines, book publishers, and digital platforms. He is also the chairman of Fox Corporation, which owns television broadcasting channels such as Fox News and Fox Sports. He is 92 years old and lives in New York City with his fourth wife Jerry Hall.
Alex Murdaugh is facing a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the double murder of his wife and son. He was found guilty by a jury after less than three hours of deliberation on March 3, 2023. He took the stand in his own defense to unsuccessfully plead with the jury to find him not guilty. His trial heard claims of corruption, opioid abuse, and a failed hitman suicide plot. He is 54 years old and is being held at the Hampton County Detention Center.
Rupert Murdoch and Alex Murdaugh are not related by blood or marriage. They have different origins, different scandals, and different outcomes. They only share a similar last name that might cause some confusion among the public. However, their stories are both fascinating and tragic in their own ways.