Kerry Packer Biography
credit to ABC Online www.abc.net.au)
Packer is the richest man in Australia.
personal wealth is estimated in the billions of dollars.
the media industry that has made Kerry Packer both
wealthy and powerful.
the owner of the Channel Nine television network and
has interests in Pay TV.
also owns 60% of all magazines sold in Australia including
Belle, She, Wheels, HQ, Bulletin, Woman's Day and
the Womens' Weekly.
was the Women's Weekly which really started the Packer
up by Kerry's father, Sir Frank Packer in 1933, the
magazine was hugely successful and it allowed Sir
Frank to expand his business beginning with newspapers
like Sydney's Daily Telegraph.
most accounts Sir Frank was a hard worker and a hard
and his brother Clyde saw little of him and when they
did it was often to get a taste of Sir Frank's strict
a rare interview on radio in 1979 Kerry talked about
mean I got a lot of hidings because that's the sort
of person I was and the sort of person he was."
young life was lonely and disrupted.
was sent to boarding school at the age of five, and
just a year later caught a serious illness called
polio myelitis or infantile paralysis.
children are immunised against the virus, but in the
1940s severe cases could kill or leave a child crippled.
Kerry's case was severe and he spent nine months immobilised
in an iron lung, an early version of a respirator,
which helped him to breathe.
the time he got back to boarding school, at the age
of nine, he was way behind his class mates.
his recovery from polio had been complete because
it was his size and strength that helped him achieve
in one area , sport.
life was sport. I was academically stupid. My method
of surviving through school and those sorts of things
finished school when he was 19 and went to work for
his father's newspapers. He took over the business
when Sir Frank died in 1974.
difficult their relationship, Kerry admired his father
and from the start he was a lot like him.
liked to win for one thing.
1977, when he couldn't get exclusive television rights
to Sheffield and Test cricket he made up his own teams
with the best players in the world and started World
the Australian Cricket Board wanted the services of
these players it would have to give Kerry the TV rights
and, in 1979, after a long battle, he got his way.
business trait of Kerry Packer's is timing - knowing
when to sell and when to buy.
1987, he sold his two Channel Nine TV stations to
businessman Alan Bond for one billion dollars.
was a lot more than they were worth and the deal made
Kerry Packer his first billion.
years later, Bond was in financial trouble and Kerry
bought the stations back for just two hundred and
fifty million dollars.
things haven't always gone Kerry Packer's way.
1991, he attempted to increase his media empire by
buying the Fairfax newspaper group.
many members of parliament thought Kerry already had
too much control over the media, and wanted to limit
what he could own. Kerry wasn't happy and his anger
gave us a rare public glimpse of his personal determination.
telling you there is no arrangement. No agreement.
I am not going to run John Fairfax."
Kerry Packer leaves most of the running of his business
greatest love is polo and he spends three months of
every year in England playing the game and millions
of dollars on horses, stables and players for his
1990, a heart attack while playing polo left him literally
dead for six minutes until he was revived by ambulance
once again his return to form has been spectacular.
back enjoying his hobbies and the size and drama of
his continuing successes guarantee that watching Kerry
Packer will remain a fascinating Australian past-time.
Full credit to ABC Online www.abc.net.au
thank you for PBL staff from Media Man Australia for
their support over the years.
Man Australia: Kerry Packer article
Nine - PBL