Rupert Murdoch and me: eminent historian Asa Briggs tells of Middle East road trip





Asa Briggs, the historian and founder vice chancellor of Sussex University, has revealed that in 1952 he went on a somewhat unconventional camping holiday around the Middle East, sleeping rough, with his then pupil at Worcester College, Oxford, one Rupert Murdoch. Shortly after his return he was asked to break the news to Rupert of his father's death.

Rupert's father, Sir Keith Murdoch, had loaned them the use of his brand new Ford Zephyr for the trip and had driven to Istanbul with his son, where the journey began. "It still stands out in my mind," Lord Briggs, 91, writes in a semi-autobiographical book published last week. In it, he also reveals that in several countries they visited Rupert was thought to be Jewish.

Accompanying them was a fellow of Worcester College, Harry Pitt, and another Australian undergraduate, George Masterman. "We met Rupert and George in what had been Constantinople, now Istanbul. Rupert had travelled there with his father in the Zephyr, which he had promised his father he would send back to Australia by sea from Port Said. They had had trouble... in crossing Yugoslavia. Curiously, Rupert was to have trouble too in Jordan."...



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