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The Honorable William H. Murphy, Sr.

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Information about The Honorable William H. Murphy, Sr.

Profile image of The Honorable William H. Murphy, Sr.

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Civic Leader
State Court Judge

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Gray
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
All Seasons
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Chicago, Illinois, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
4/20/1917
Birth Location:
Baltimore, Maryland

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Civic Leader
State Court Judge

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Gray
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
All Seasons
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Chicago, Illinois, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
4/20/1917
Birth Location:
Baltimore
See how The Honorable William H. Murphy, Sr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Community activist Judge William H. Murphy, Sr., has been a progressive force in Baltimore, Maryland, society for well over a half century. He was born on April 20, 1917, into the Baltimore black elite. However, his life has been spent upholding the rights of the underprivileged. His concern for others came from his parents- both of whom were politically and socially active. In fact, it was his paternal grandfather who founded Baltimore's African American newspaper The Afro-American. His father worked as a high school principal and was also extremely involved in various community organizations, including the NAACP and the Urban League.

After graduation from Oberlin College in 1939, Murphy enrolled at the University of Maryland Law School. He was the third African American student enrolled there. The President of the University even attempted to dissuade Murphy from attending by offering to pay for his tuition and expenses to Harvard Law School. Rejecting this offer, Murphy continued his studies at the University of Maryland Law School for two years, until he was drafted to fight in World War II. He completed his J.D. in 1946 and went into a private practice in Cherry Hill, the working class neighborhood of Baltimore where he and his wife, Madeline, resided. Murphy and his family continued as active members of the Cherry Hill community until 2003.

In 1970, Murphy won a seat on the Maryland District Court, where he continued on as an active retired judge. Murphy was chairman of the board of Provident Hospital and a member of both the Elks and Alpha Phi Alpha. He was also the father of five children. Judge Murphy passed away on May 22, 2003.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Murphy interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Murphy's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Murphy talks about his father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Murphy talks about his mother's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Murphy explains how his grandfather escaped slavery and purchased the Afro-American Newspaper
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Murphy recalls his childhood community
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Murphy tells of his father's involvement with the Afro-American Newspaper
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Murphy discusses memories from his youth
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William Murphy describes his childhood home
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Murphy comments on his priviledged upbringing
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Murphy recalls early employment in his family's catering business
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Murphy describes his relationship with his parents during his youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Murphy discusses personality traits he shares with his parents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Murphy details the impact of the Depression on his family
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Murphy discusses his early political affiliation with the Republican party
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Murphy names important members of the black community during his youth
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Murphy recalls influential members of his childhood community
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Murphy recalls racial issues Oberlin College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Murphy talks about his academic interests
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Murphy explains his "country cousins"
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Murphy comments on passing for white
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Murphy details his decision to attend law school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William Murphy recalls experiences at University of Maryland Law School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William Murphy talks about meeting his wife and their marriage
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Murphy comments on his career after law school
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Murphy details his reasons for moving to Baltimore's Cherry Hill neighborhood
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Murphy explains why he left the Catholic church
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Murphy comments on his politically oriented life
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Murphy tells of the Afro-American Newspaper's influential role
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Murphy recalls presiding over a contrversial case
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Murphy discusses issues surrounding is admittance into University of Maryland Law School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William Murphy recalls a successful law partnership
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - William Murphy talks about his campaign for Maryland District Court judge
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William Murphy talks about his experience in financing a fraternity
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William Murphy discusses his brothers' political affiliations
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William Murphy shares his hopes for more blacks involvement in business
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William Murphy remembers family dinner table discussions
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William Murphy shares humorous anecdotes about his wife and children
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William Murphy continues talking about his children
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William Murphy looks back on his career as a judge
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - William Murphy recalls living in Chicago
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William Murphy discusses his parenting philosophies
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William Murphy talks about his involvement in the stock market
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - William Murphy explains his bond to black lawyers
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - William Murphy comments on lawyers he's influenced
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - William Murphy shares his hopes for the black community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - William Murphy explains the importance of the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - William Murphy considers his legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - William Murphy opines on integration, LBJ, JFK and politics