Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is apparently engaged for the fifth time, and his future wife has connections in the Bay Area. According to other media, Murdoch, 92, will marry Ann Leslie Smith, 66, a model, singer-songwriter, radio journalist, and apparently a former San Francisco Police Department chaplain.
Other media also identify Smith as a Christian minister for the Marin County Sheriff’s Office and the Manteca Police Department. The Standard has yet to confirm Smith’s role as a former SFPD chaplain or Christian minister in any law enforcement agency.
Murdoch is chairman of Fox Corporation and executive chairman of News Corporation, giving him control of Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, Harper Collins book publisher, and many other media outlets. Gossip columnist Cindy Adams ran the story in the New York Post—another of Murdoch’s holdings—reporting that he proposed to Smith in New York City on St. Patrick’s Day.
Smith was married to John B. Huntington, a noted lawyer and philanthropist from a 19th-century San Francisco family that, along with the Stanfords, Crockers, and Hopkins, made up the “big four” California railroad magnates. The soon-to-open historic Huntington Hotel on Knob Hill is named after the same family whose mansion was across the street.
Smith’s first marriage is said to have been an unhappy one, and she later married country singer Chester Smith, with whom she recorded a record shortly before his death in 2008.
Divorced from Jerry Hall last summer after six years of marriage, the newly qualified Murdoch met Smith at his Los Angeles vineyard and asked her out on a date two weeks later. Murdoch was previously married to businesswoman Wendi Deng, journalist Anna Maria Torv and Patricia Booker.
The wedding is reportedly scheduled for this summer. Perhaps anticipating some of the jabs people get when they remarry later in life, Murdoch told Cindy Adams that “we both look forward to spending the other half of our lives together.”
This is just one of the many connections that Murdoch and his famous conservative media ventures have with the infamous progressive San Francisco Bay Area. Kimberly Gilfoyle, a former Fox host engaged to Donald Trump Jr. and once married to California Governor Gavin Newsom, was born and raised in the Mission District. Fox News host Tucker Carlson is also a Mission native.
With an estimated net worth of $20.8 billion, Murdoch, along with his family, was ranked 76th on the Forbes list of the world’s richest people in 2022.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Smith worked as an SFPD chaplain, which was widely reported in other media. The standard has not yet been able to verify this information.
Astrid Kane can be reached in [email protected]