South African-born billionaire buys LA Times

A billionaire born to Chinese immigrant parents in South Africa has bought one of America’s most famous newspapers.

Patrick Soon-Shiong revealed he was inspired to purchase the Los Angeles Times by his childhood in Port Elizabeth under the country's apartheid regime.
Patrick Soon-Shiong revealed he was inspired to purchase the Los Angeles Times by his childhood in Port Elizabeth under the country’s apartheid regime.

Patrick Soon-Shiong revealed he was inspired to purchase the Los Angeles Times by his childhood in Port Elizabeth under the country’s apartheid regime.

According to the LA Times, he explained the purchase in a note to staff.

“Ultimately, this decision is deeply personal for me. As someone who grew up in apartheid South Africa, I understand the role that journalism needs to play in a free society.”

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Dr Soon-Shiong, who studied medicine at Witwatersrand University before becoming the first Chinese student to be admitted to Johannesburg’s General Hospital, reportedly paid $500m (£357m) for the newspaper.

The physician, who emigrated to Canada in the 1970s before heading to the US, promised staff to “ensure that you have the tools and resources to produce the high-quality journalism that our readers need and rely upon”. BBC News