Australia’s secret billionaire unmasked

The richest person in Australia isn’t billionaire property developer Frank Lowy or gaming mogul James Packer – it is a little-known former school teacher living in the NSW regional town of Scone.


Forbes magazine ranked US immigrant Blair Parry-Okeden as the world’s 110th richest person with a fortune of $US4.5 billion (just over $7 billion in Australian dollars).


Parry-Okeden is the granddaughter of James Cox, a newspaper reporter-turned-media mogul, whose family owns Cox Communications, the third largest cable television company in the United States.


Parry-Okeden’s mother, Barbara Cox Anthony, died in 2007, leaving a 25% stake in the Cox empire to her daughter. Parry-Okeden does not have any involvement in the business but remains a US citizen.


According to a report in The Australian, Parry-Okeden arrived in Australia after marrying Simon Parry-Okeden, the son of prominent agriculturalist William Parry-Okeden. The couple are now divorced but have two sons, Andrew and Henry, who both live in Australia.


Blair Parry-Okeden previously lived in Hawaii and worked as a school teacher. She told the newspaper she was disappointed to be named on the list as it had blown the cover of her low-key lifestyle.


Forbes says Parry-Okeden’s fortune has declined by US$2 billion in the past 12 months as a result of weaker ad revenues experienced by all media companies.


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