Media Magnate: Rupert Murdoch
Murdoch was just 33 when he launched an ambitious national daily called the Australian in 1964 by which time he already had more than a decade of newspapering under his belt. In 1969 Murdoch bought the British paper the Sun, turned it into a tabloid and began his rapid climb to the top of the U.K. media industry. The U.S., TV and films followed. Admired and loathed in equal measure, Murdoch remains as engaged in the industry as men a third his age.
Swimmer: Dawn Fraser
Before she was a larrikin or a pub owner or a politician, Dawn Fraser swam fast. In a 15-year career Fraser held 41 world records and was never bested in the freestyle over 100 m. She is one of only two swimmers to win the same event at three Olympics. At her final Games, in Tokyo in 1964, Fraser, who had already annoyed Australia's Olympic officials by wearing an old swimsuit she found more comfortable, was accused of stealing a flag from outside Emperor Hirohito's palace a charge she later denied. Authorities suspended her for 10 years, denying her the chance to extend her amazing run. Her countrymen loved her even more and still regularly vote her the greatest ever sports figure.
Architect: Jørn Utzon
Can a nation's greatest architect come from half a world away? Born in Copenhagen, the son of a naval engineer, Utzon won a competition to build an opera house overlooking Sydney Harbor. His vision was as breathtaking as the site, but Utzon fought with small-minded politicians and quit amid cost overruns and allegations of design problems. He never saw the finished building. Sorry, thankful, Australians now claim him as their own.
Tennis Player: Rod Laver
In the long-running debate over tennis's greatest player of all time, fast, wristy Rod Laver can boast a record that will probably never be equaled. Laver is the only player to have twice won all four Grand Slam titles in a single calendar year. The most remarkable thing about his achievement: the seven-year gap between his four victories in 1962 as an amateur, and his return performance in 1969 as a professional. Could Roger Federer win the Grand Slam, play a parallel circuit for seven years and then win it again? Didn't think so.
Wine Lover: Len Evans
The Oxford Companion to Wine says that Evans did "more to advance the cause of wine in Australia than any other individual." Whether promoting, judging, writing about or making wine, his philosophy was simple: Enjoy life. It was a lesson Australians have gulped down.
Runner: Peter Snell
New Zealand's triple Olympic-gold-medal-winning, middle-distance star never heard the roaring crowds as he trampled records and opponents alike. "He was as cold as ice," famed Kiwi coach Arthur Lydiard said.
Scientist: John Carew Eccles
Australia and New Zealand have a tradition of scientific innovation dating back to the early 20th century when Ernest Rutherford, now known as the father of nuclear physics, split the atom, and William Henry Bragg and his son William Lawrence explored X-ray crystallography. Eccles, a Rhodes scholar with a sense of spiritual wonder, won the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on the synapse, which finally settled the question of whether brain-nerve cells interact by chemical or electrical means.