The 83 year old father of six is the owner of Britain's largest media conglomerate. CEO and Chairman of both News Corp and Twentieth Century Fox, Murdoch owned 800 companies across 50 countries in 2000. He has companies in many sub-fields of "the media": primarily in publishing, owning famous press chains such as The Sun, the Times or America's Wall Street Journal. But Murdoch's companies expand beyond the printed press - his chairmanship of Twentieth Century Fox saw him branch into film and TV, owning large shares of Sky TV. In 1998, he attempted to buy Manchester United Football Club and expand into sport, offering the largest sum ever proposed for the purchase of a sports club - £625million, but Murdoch was blocked by the UK's Competition Commission.
One person's influence over so many social spheres in this way is an impressive business collection or, depending on your politics, a suspect media machine. But it is Murdoch's newspapers that have brought him the most success and scandal in Britain. The Sun - Britain's infamous "tearaway newspaper with lots of tits in it" (-Murdoch himself) has been the focus of mass petition "No More Page 3"; News Of The World was the focus of 2011 government enquiries and investigations, after allegations of the regular phone hacking of celebrities, royalty and public citizens. Murdoch still faces on-going investigations into bribery and corruption by both the British government and American FBI.
In regard to politics, Murdoch's relationships with political figures have often been the subject of national scandal in Britain; his papers have backed certain leaders or parties and (with the media being Britain's primary source of education) have swayed the results of general elections. In the 1980s, Murdoch was propelled into the eye of the masses by his close relationship with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. With their regular meetings, and his papers worshipping her, it was hard for any left-leaning pessimist (and that was half of the country in the 80s) to not see Murdoch's 1986 mass