Elisabeth Murdoch

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Dame Elisabeth Murdoch (AP Photo/Bryan Charlton)
SYDNEY (AP) - Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, a prominent Australian philanthropist and mother of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has died at age 103.

News Ltd., the Australian media company headed by her son, confirmed her death.

She died peacefully on Wednesday surrounded by family members in her garden estate outside Melbourne. She had been hospitalized in September after a bad fall in which she broke her leg.

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

Rupert Murdoch, 81, has said that his mother's long life was evidence that he would be able to continue leading News Corp., the global media company which he founded, for many years.

Dame Elisabeth was a patron of the arts and contributed to an estimated 100 charities annually. She was the wife of Sir Keith Murdoch, a journalist and newspaper publisher, and the mother of four children - Rupert Murdoch, Anne Kantor, Janet Calvert-Jones, and Helen Handbury, who died in 2004.

She has 77 direct descendants, including 50 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.

Her family said arrangements for a memorial service were still being decided, but that the funeral was expected to be private.


Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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