Keith Rupert Murdoch was born in 1931. With huge personal wealth, he is judged to be the 117th richest individual in the world. Across the globe, he has exerted enormous influence upon our political landscape, being feared and revered by a succession of ephemeral leaders. Murdoch's fingers have been in many pies - from local newspapers to film and television. Early on, he sniffed the potential of satellite broadcasting and over in America formed Fox Broadcasting. He was never elected to office and yet through his arrogance, his empire building and his ultimate control of the mouthpieces of democracy he has wielded a power that has been almost divine in its magnitude.
But now this eighty year old Australian-American magnate with intellectual powers waning is like a rabbit caught in the headlights. Closing Britain's famous "News of the World" will not be enough. The ruthlessness and egotism that coloured Murdoch's rise to power filtered down to his employees. Phone hacking and interception of electronic mail were commonplace - anything to get a good story and damn the ethics or the effects.
This afternoon he will be spotlighted by a parliamentary committee - at last being brought to book. No doubt he will squirm and use his vast personal wealth to deflect blame but he was the farmer who sowed the seeds of News International and nurtured the crop. No matter what he says, he knew exactly what was going on.
Round the world, politicians of different hues need to ask themselves how it was that they allowed the Murdoch Monster to grow unchecked, how they danced to his tunes, how they accepted his gifts and opened their doors to him. That is not democracy.
We don't know all the ins and outs of Murdoch's dealings - perhaps we never will - but at last this pompous puppeteer is having to face a different kind of music. Whether or not his inquisitors have the guts and the capability to force him against the ropes remains to be seen. No doubt Murdoch will want to drag others down as he falls. The soap opera will run and run.