Dec. 18 - A state memorial service is held for Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, mother of News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION) A state memorial service was held for Dame Elisabeth Murdoch on Tuesday (December 18) in the Australian city of Melbourne at St Paul's Cathedral. Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, mother of News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch, died on December 5th at her Melbourne home aged 103. Rupert Murdoch, who had travelled from overseas to attend the service delivered the eulogy, telling of how his father was very soft on the children. "So mum took it upon herself to be the family disciplinarian. Just let me say that mum assumed that role with none of the angst or self doubt that consumes so many modern parents. I still remember vividly the good smacking I got from pulling my big sister Helen's pigtails. But for mum, love wasn't something soft or mushy. It's strong and reliable, something that brings you comfort and peace when you are lonely or troubled," said Murdoch. Murdoch, the matriarch of one of Australia's most prominent media families, was best known as a philanthropist, serving on and forming numerous institutes that promoted medical research, the arts and social welfare. Many of the 1,000 guests at the service were representatives of the charities that she supported. Her philanthropic work earned her civil honours in both her native Australia and Britain and was remembered on Thursday (December 6) by Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard as she paid tribute to Dame Elisabeth's generosity. Murdoch, is survived by 77 direct descendants, including three children Anne Kantor, Janet Calvert-Jones and Rupert. Her fourth and eldest child, Helen Handbury, died in 2004. Murdoch, 82, remained close to his mother despite leading a global media empire that required him to split his time between Australia, Asia, Britain, New York, and Los Angeles, among other places. Elisabeth Murdoch married Rupert's father, Keith, in 1928. Rupert took over News Corp and began his corporate march across the globe after his father's death in 1952.