Rupert Murdoch told a committee grilling him on phone hacking at News International said: "This is the most humble day of my life."
He and his son James were being quizzed by MPs on the scandal which has engulfed his News Corp empire and scuppered a bid for BSkyB.
He said the News of the World was only a small part of his empire and that the vast majority of his staff were diligent and honest.
On Milly Dowler's phone being hacked he said he was "shocked, appalled and ashamed".
Murdoch said he had finally accepted Rebekah Brooks'resignation because she was in "extreme anguish".
He said categorically that the News of The World had not been closed as a sacrifice to keep her in her role as chief executive of News international.
James Murdoch said on news international's internal investigation: "It is a matter of regret that the facts could not have been obtained faster."