Did Kendall, Roman or Shiv win? The children taking over from Rupert Murdoch.

They say life imitates art. Or is it the other way around?

If you're a fan of the hit HBO series Succession you would be well aware of the fact that the very rich and powerful family at the centre of the fictional story is loosely based on a few real-life media empires. 

Although it was never confirmed to be a direct scripted dramatisation of one particular media family, Succession's showrunner Jesse Armstrong did say that the writers drew a lot of inspiration from the Murdoch family. 

Watch: The Rise Of The Murdoch Dynasty. Story continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

If you're not familiar, I'll get you up to speed with a very simplified interpretation of the show. 

Logan Roy is the CEO and founder of Waystar Royco, one of America's most powerful media empires. As he enters old age and poor health episodes, much speculation arises over which of his four children (if any of them at all) will become his successor. 

There's backstabbing, cheating and near-overdoses  - you know, good old family fun. 

As the four series of Succession unfolded, it was hard not to draw conclusions to Rupert Murdoch, his powerful role as chairman of Fox News and News Corp, and his turbulent family life. 


While the final season of Succession wrapped up back in May earlier this year, it looks like the real-life Murdochs have taken an interesting story arc indeed. This week it was announced that at age 92 and a seven-decade tenure, Rupert will be stepping down as chairman of Fox and News Corp to make way for a new successor. 

Named to take over his helm has been his eldest son Lachlan Murdoch, who in many ways has won the real-life game of Succession if you will. 

But to really break down how the race culminated in Lachlan being handed the reins, let's take a look at each of Rupert's six children and the part they have played in his career.

Prudence MacLeod, 65.

Looking from the outside at the Murdoch children's race to become the new head honcho, by all accounts you would assume Prudence MacLeod should be the successor. And yet that couldn't be further from reality. 

Born in 1958, Prudence was the only child born from Rupert's first marriage to a woman named Patricia Booker. By 1967 the pair divorced and he quickly moved on to marry Sydney journalist, Anna Torv.

Prudence and her father have gone on to have a fractious relationship that has been fraught with drama. According to an interview with The Guardian, Prudence never felt like she fit in with the family dynamics. 

"They have massive boats, all of them," she said of her step-siblings. 

"I never feel sophisticated enough to be on this big boat. They are all taller than me, that's the worst thing, so they all look chic-er wherever they are, but especially on a boat, where everyone is in shorts or a swimsuit and I'm the short, fat one."


By all accounts Prudence was never legitimately in the running to take over from Rupert, nor did it seem like she ever wanted to be bestowed the role. She now lives in Sydney with her second husband Alasdair MacLeod and their three children James, Angus and Clementine.

Elisabeth Murdoch, 55.

Named after her grandmother Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, Rupert's second daughter and first child with wife Anna Torv was born in 1968. Despite being born in Sydney, Elisabeth would go on to live in New York before studying at Vassar College. From the jump she took a very keen interest in the family business by taking a number of roles in different arms of her father's media empire.

Elisabeth Murdoch and her partner. Image: Getty.


In 2001 she showed off her media hubris by launching her own production company called Shine. So successful was her foray into the world of producing reality series, she ended up selling the company to her father in 2011 for a tidy $674 million.

Despite making big moves in the industry, it seemed Elisabeth was constantly seeking the validation of her father.

"You'd love your parents to be proud of you," she said in an interview with The New Yorker in 2012. "Each time I tried to work in his company, he wasn't impressed. I realised I had to just go and be myself."

She has since launched another production company called Sister and resides in London with her third husband, Keith Tyson. She has four children Cornelia, Anna, Charlotte and Samson. 

It has been rumoured that she is not on great terms with her father or her younger brother Lachlan.

Lachlan Murdoch, 52.

Lachlan Murdoch. The next in line. The winner of real-life Succession.

In 1971, Rupert welcomed his first son and second child with wife Anna Torv. Lachlan was an incredibly intelligent youngster and eventually went on to study philosophy at Princeton University. Like his other siblings, it's believed he wanted to prove his worth in the context of the family business and so he took every opportunity to show his father why he should be the successor. 


After a stint as deputy chief operating officer at News Corp, Lachlan branched out to create his own company Illyria which invested in radio stations in Australia in 2005. It's during this time he expanded his own family after marrying model Sarah O'Hare and welcoming three children, Kalan, Aidan and Aerin.

In 2014 he returned to the News Corp fold and in 2019 was appointed the role of chairman and CEO of Fox. And now in 2023 he has been named the successor to his father and will step into the position of being one of the most powerful figures in the media world.

In response to the appointment, he referenced the tenure of his father by saying: "We thank him for his vision and his pioneering spirit, his steadfast determination and the enduring legacy he leaves at the companies he founded and countless people he has impacted."

James Murdoch, 50.

Ok this is where things start to get a bit juicy. Enter Rupert's second son and third child with Anna Torv, James. Much like the path his siblings walked, James stepped into the family business and made it clear from the outset he wanted to take over the reins from his father.

Lachlan Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch, and James Murdoch. Image: Getty.


But despite high-level positions like COO of News Corp in 2011 and CEO of 21st Century Fox in 2015, the cracks were starting to show in the family relations as the years went on. 

Rumour has it that after years on the grind trying to prove his abilities to his father, tensions spilled over in 2019 when his brother Lachlan was given a higher-ranking role after years outside of the business. That, coupled with James' disdain for his father's right-wing political views, signalled the end of his time in the family business.

"My resignation is due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the Company's news outlets and certain other strategic decisions," he said in a statement at the time. 


Since his resignation he has lived in New York with his wife Kathryn and their three children Anneka, Emerson and Walter.

If Succession has taught us anything we know not to discount James just yet. Watch this space….

Grace Murdoch, 22.

In 1999, around two weeks after divorcing his second wife Anna Torv, 68-year-old Rupert married 30-year-old Wendi Deng. Two years later in 2001 they welcomed their first child together, a daughter named Grace.

Now 22-years-old, Grace was raised in the private school system in New York City and is now studying at Yale University. While she hasn't had the opportunity to enter into her father's business just yet, she has certainly been reaping the benefits. When she was 18 she inherited a cool $2 billion thanks to shares she has in the family company that paid off dividends when a major deal with Disney was finalised.

With a Yale University degree soon to be completed, who knows where she'll go next.

Chloe Murdoch, 20.

Rupert's sixth child and his second daughter with Wendi Deng was born in 2003. 

Rupert Murdoch with his two youngest daughters, and his former wife Wendi. Image: Getty.


At just 10 years old Chloe witnessed her parents go through an abrupt and dramatic divorce after 32 years of marriage. 

Now at age 20, Chloe is navigating adulthood while studying at Stanford University. Of all the Murdoch siblings Chloe is arguably the most low profile of the bunch but perhaps that has been by design. Growing up in such a powerful, highly publicised family it makes sense that her parents might want to protect her from it all.

So now that we've seen all of the Murdoch children on paper we can safely say that the 'Kendall' of the family has won the real-life Succession. For now….

Image: Getty/HBO/Mamamia. 

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