Five things you never knew about James Murdoch


 As shareholders meet to debate his future, here’s five facts you never knew about Rupert Murdoch’s “drop-out” son  

1.      He gave us Mos Def

While busy “dropping out” and rebelling (see #3), Murdoch provided the backing for American Hip-Hop label Rawkus Records – once the label for Mos Def and Talib Kweli.

2.      He is incredibly courteous

According to business journalist Sophie Barker, who interviewed Murdoch for The Economist’s Intelligent Life magazine, he was impressively courteous and possessed “über politeness”:

“Murdoch is big on courtesy, in a way that feels like a legacy from his preppy upbringing on New York’s Upper East Side. He thanks me twice for travelling to Milan, thanks the waitress who brings him his macchiato and water — first in English, then in heavily accented Italian — and apologises to me for being late, when he isn’t.”

 Read Sophie Barker’s full interview here.

3.      He hates the media

Presumably, as the son of Rupert Murdoch, Murdoch junior understands how dangerous the press can be and rarely gives interviews as a result. When he does, he is said to be incredibly well prepared, a point also noted by Barker in her 2009 interview.

4.      He was a bleached-haired college dropout with an eyebrow stud

Yep, despite attending the highly prestigious Horace Maan High School in NYC – ranked by Forbes as the second best prep school in America – Murdoch once looked a bit like your neighbour’s unsavoury son and dropped out of his film and history course at Harvard. Ahem.

5.      He was the youngest chief executive of a FSTE 100 company

You probably know this, but it’s worth remembering. Murdoch’s promotion to chairman of BskyB in 2003, aged 30, stirred a raft of controversy among investors and shareholders who felt he was unfit for the top job.

One imagines a few angry “I told you so’s” have been uttered since.