Born Kerry Francis Bullmore Packer, the son of a rich Australian business magnate, a media tycoon who inherited his father's business portfolio of media stations, magazine publishing, and property in 1972. He expanded the dynasty's business and media empire to become at the time Australia's wealthiest individual, said to be worth more than £3 billion. He challenged the traditional hierarchy of world cricket in 1977 by establishing World Series Cricket, to which he attracted the world's top players to play in matches in teams of his own making, in a format featuring bright playing outfits, and associated showbiz razzmatazz. This initiative was also a means of restructuring television rights and media coverage of the traditional international game. Packer had been a boxer as a schoolboy, after a childhood in which he suffered poliomyelitis at the age of 8, which compensated for his lack of academic prowess (he was diagnosed as dyslexic). His business practice exhibited a parallel pugnacious style throughout his life. The Times (London, 28 December 2005) commemorated him as the ‘uncompromising media proprietor who became Australia's richest man and dragged cricket into the television age’.
Subjects: Sport and Leisure.