RUPERT Murdoch has two key characteristics which make him far and away the most phenomenal newspaper man of the modern age.
The first is his upbringing in classless Australia where, more even than America, anyone from any background can aspire to the highest pinnacles of success.
The second is his rare talent to spot an opportunity and the courage to stake everything on its success.
It is the gambler in Rupert Murdoch, coupled with a fabled talent to “see around corners”, which propelled him from running a small-town newspaper to transforming the way the world reads, hears and sees the news.
It is what drove the success of this newspaper, the Super Soaraway Sun, as the biggest-selling English language newspaper.
And it is the fuel that provided lift-off — against the odds — for Sky TV to revolutionise news and sports coverage and turn Premier League football into a multi-billion pound financial giant.
As The Sun’s political editor and columnist for 40 years, I’ve enjoyed knowing the man we call The Boss both at leisure and under pressure as chief of the world’s greatest media empire. I watched him turn the Super Soaraway Sun into essential breakfast reading for millions of dedicated readers.
I have seen him prove time and again that democracy and free speech only flourish under a free, vigorous and sometimes controversial press.
His newspapers, including The Times and Sunday Times and more recently America’s Wall Street Journal, have challenged establishment figures who once expected an easy ride.
As he took up his new role last night, The Boss repeated the principles that have driven his family since his father, Gallipoli legend Sir Keith Murdoch, became one of Australia’s greatest newspapermen.