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Who is media mogul Rupert Murdoch ?

Rupert Murdoch sitting in front of Rebekah Brooks at a service at St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street, London on June 15, 2005.

Rupert Murdoch sitting in front of Rebekah Brooks at a service at St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street, London on June 15, 2005.

Australian-born media mogul Rupert Murdoch turned 80 this year but his eventful life and career now present him with yet another crisis as a hacking scandal threatens to derail his biggest deal yet.

Mr Murdoch has condemned as “deplorable and unacceptable” claims that his News of the World newspaper hacked the phones of relatives of murdered children and victims of the London bombings, and promised full cooperation with police.

But a national furore over the allegations imperils his controversial bid to take full control of satellite broadcaster BSkyB, with the British opposition urging the government to delay an imminent decision on the deal. Observers of the billionaire father-of-six, who has spent a lifetime building his News Corp. empire from a single Adelaide afternoon paper, say he has plenty of life left in him.

“I think anyone who is looking forward to Rupert’s retirement will be very disappointed. Rupert, far from winding down... he’s winding up,” Australian journalist and author Hugh Lunn said ahead of the tycoon’s March birthday.

“He is getting bigger – it shows you what you can still do even when you’re in your eighties,” said Mr Lunn, who worked for Melbourne-born Murdoch for 17 years.

Comments on his age are reportedly unwelcome, but Mr Murdoch has crammed much into his eight decades creating a business with interests stretching from Australia to Europe, the US, Asia and Latin America.

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