One of the richest people in Australia is a reclusive billionaire who isn't actually Australian. Blair Parry-Okeden is an American heiress to the Cox Media empire. When her mother died in 2007, she inherited a 25% stake in the media conglomerate. Her grandfather was a three-term governor of Ohio. When it came time to marry, Blair married a wealthy Aussie. Thanks to her stake in the family cable company, Parry-Okeden has a net worth of $10.8 billion.
Parry-Okeden was born in Honolulu in 1950. She attended La Pietra: Hawaii School for Girls, which was founded by her mother Barbara Cox Anthony. Her mother was Hawaii's richest person until her death in 2007. Parry-Okeden's grandfather James M. Cox founded Cox Enterprises. Her brother James C. Kennedy is chairman and her aunt Anne Cox Chambers is the media company's largest shareholder. Parry-Okeden has no role in the family business. She went to school to be a teacher and moved to Australia in the 1970s when she married her now ex-husband Simon Parry-Okeden. She is an Australian citizen.
In 1989, she wrote a children's book about an ad Mother Goose placed in a newspaper called Down By The Gate. That lone event is Parry-Okeden's most public act in her entire life.
She is a pretty reclusive character. She lives on a quiet farm outside of the town of Scone, northwest of Sydney. She gives generously to charity, including the University of Hawaii's Center on Aging, the Shore School, the Scone Grammar School, and Strathern Village, a non-profit center that cares for the elderly.
Friends describe Parry-Okeden as a private, but interesting woman. Her neighbors don't really know her and have described her as quiet and reserved. She has two adult sons, Andrew and Henry.
Parry-Okeden made news in 2016 when took the title of Australia's richest person from Gina Rinehart. Falling iron ore prices and the court cases against her children caused Rinehart's fortune to take a hit. Rinehart has since taken the top spot back from Parry-Okeden.