Rupert Murdoch's mother, Elisabeth, dies at 103

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch with her son, the media magnate Rupert Dame Elisabeth Murdoch was the patron of more than 100 charities

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, the mother of the media magnate Rupert, has died at her home in Australia. She was 103.

She had been admitted to hospital in Melbourne in September after breaking her leg in a fall.

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

Dame Elisabeth was a noted philanthropist and patron of the arts.

She was appointed a dame for her charitable work by Queen Elizabeth in 1963 and was described by the Sydney Morning Herald as "a philanthropist of the old school, quietly helping dozens of causes and charities with minimum fanfare".

Her interest in genetic disorders led her to establish the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, and she supported other medical institutions and hospitals.

She married the journalist and newspaper publisher, Sir Keith Murdoch, in 1928 and had four children and 77 direct descendants, including six great-great-grandchildren.

Dame Elisabeth used the wealth of her husband to help others, saying: "Wealth can be misused but generally speaking, it's a tremendous tool in helping the community."

She did not always agree with her son, whose News Corp is one of the world's biggest media groups.

Rupert Murdoch, who is 81, has said that his mother's long life was evidence that he would be able to continue leading News Corp for many years.

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