Fox Corporation co-chairman and News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch. (FOX)
Fox Corporation chairman and News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch has found love once again, and is getting married to Ann Lesley Smith.
Murdoch, 92, personally picked out an Asscher-cut diamond solitaire for his bride-to-be that he presented on St. Patrick’s Day, according to famed New York Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams, who has written for Murdoch’s paper for decades.
"I was very nervous. I dreaded falling in love — but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy," Murdoch told Adams. "We’re both looking forward to spending the second half of our lives together."
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Rupert Murdoch and Ann Lesley Smith are planning a summer wedding. (Jenna Bascom Photography)
Smith, 66, met the media titan in September at his California vineyard.
"Last year when there was 200 people at my vineyard, I met her and we talked a bit. Two weeks later I called her," Murdoch told Adams.
Smith has been widowed since 2008, but was previously married to Chester Smith, a country singer and media executive.
"I’m a widow 14 years. Like Rupert, my husband was a businessman. Worked for local papers, developed radio and TV stations and helped promote Univision. So I speak Rupert’s language. We share the same beliefs," she told Adams. "In perspective, it’s not my first rodeo. Getting near 70 means being in the last half. I waited for the right time. Friends are happy for me."
The lovebirds will split time between California, the United Kingdom, Montana and New York after a late summer wedding, according to Adams.
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Rupert Murdoch holding up a copy of the New York Post in 1978. (File) (FOX)
Murdoch launched Fox News Channel on October 7, 1996, but he had been a key media player around the globe for decades. His ascent began in Australia in the early 1950s when he took control of the family's Australian company, News Limited, in the early 1950s. The Murdoch media empire soon expanded worldwide. He acquired Perth's Sunday Times and Sydney's Daily Mirror and by the 1960s purchased United Kingdom-based News of the World and the Sun newspapers.
He expanded to the United States in the early 1970s, adding a plethora of newspapers – including the New York Post – to his portfolio.
Murdoch eventually founded the media holding company News Corporation, and he became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1985. But, he wasn’t finished building his empire and purchased the Twentieth Century Fox movie studio, launched the Fox Network and later created both Fox News and the Fox Business Network.
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Fox Corporation chairman and News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch and Fox Corporation Executive Chairman and CEO Lachlan Murdoch.
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