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Lionel McMurren

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Information about Lionel McMurren

Profile image of Lionel McMurren

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Junior High School Principal

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Peanut Butter, Jelly, Franks, Beans
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
10/21/1925
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Junior High School Principal

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Peanut Butter, Jelly, Franks, Beans
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
10/21/1925
Birth Location:
New York
See how Lionel McMurren is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Lionel McMurren was born in Harlem, New York, on October 21, 1925. At the age of two, his mother died and he was raised by two aunts in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and also by a great aunt in New York. McMurren attended public school in New York and went on to attend Brooklyn College. Because he was drafted in 1944 and served in the Pacific Rim Theater, McMurren did not complete his A.B. from Brooklyn until 1949. A year later, he went on to earn an M.S. from City Colleges of New York. In 1968, he received a professional diploma in instructional administration and a Ph.D. in 1980, both from Fordham University.

McMurren began his professional career in 1951, working as a health education community center teacher. In 1954, at the Methodist Camp Service, McMurren provided summer camp opportunities for inner-city youth. He did this for twenty years, both full and part time, rising eventually to the position of executive director. Also in 1954, McMurren returned to the junior high school of his youth, Frederick Douglass Junior High School, where he showed a particular talent in working with youth. Over the next ten years, McMurren would rise to dean of students and acting assistant principal. In 1964, McMurren took another position as a guidance counselor at a junior high school in Manhattan, and in 1966 he became the assistant principal of P.S. 78 Elementary School. Returning to Frederick Douglass, McMurren assumed the position of principal in 1969, and remained there until 1982.

McMurren was promoted to deputy superintendent of schools of New York in 1982, and remained there until 1986. McMurren continued to work in education even after leaving his post, both as a consultant and as associate professor at City Colleges of New York. In 2005, McMurren completed on an autobiographical account of his experiences at Frederick Douglass, entitled Frederick Douglass P.S. 139: A Citadel of Inspiration--its Aura and Impact : a Story of a Harlem School.

Beyond his years as an educator, McMurren was active in social and civic organizations. He held numerous positions with St. Mark's Methodist Church after first becoming involved in 1940. He was a member of several fraternal organizations, and has been involved with the Minority Task Force on AIDS.

McMurren's former wife, Dorothy, died in 1987. He later remarried and moved, with his wife, Jean, to Sarasota, Florida.

Lionel McMurren passed away on January 22, 2012.

See how Lionel McMurren is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lionel McMurren's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lionel McMurren lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lionel McMurren talks about his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lionel McMurren talks about his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lionel McMurren describes his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lionel McMurren describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lionel McMurren describes his experiences living with his great-aunt Priscilla Manly in Harlem, New York, New York
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lionel McMurren describes the sights, sounds and smells from his childhood in Harlem, New York, New York
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lionel McMurren talks about going to live with his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lionel McMurren remembers attending P.S. 5, Alexander Webb Elementary School, in Harlem, New York, New York
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lionel McMurren describes his childhood personality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lionel McMurren talks about pursuing his dream of being a psychiatrist
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lionel McMurren talks about his interest in psychology
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lionel McMurren remembers Mr. Amatrano, his favorite teacher at P.S. 5, Alexander Webb School, in Harlem, New York, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lionel McMurren describes how schools in New York, New York tracked their students
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lionel McMurren describes his class size and best subject at P.S. 5, Alexander Webb School in Harlem, New York, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lionel McMurren talks about Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lionel McMurren describes the history of Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lionel McMurren talks about his teachers at Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lionel McMurren talks about what he gained from attending Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lionel McMurren describes the camaraderie he felt while at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, New York, New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lionel McMurren describes the demographics of DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, New York, New York and wanting to become a teacher
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lionel McMurren describes deciding to attend Brooklyn College in New York, New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lionel McMurren talks about serving in the China Burma India Theater during World War II
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lionel McMurren tells a story about segregation on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lionel McMurren describes the distinction between the U.S. Army Air Force and the Air Corps
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lionel McMurren talks about graduating from Brooklyn College in New York, New York in 1949 and wanting to be a psychiatrist
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lionel McMurren describes how he became a teacher at Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lionel McMurren talks about being dean at Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lionel McMurren talks about the Instructional Administrator's Program at Fordham University in the Bronx, New York, New York and eventually becoming a principal
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lionel McMurren talks about the advent of Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10 in New York, New York, of which he was principal
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lionel McMurren describes his time as principal at Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10 in New York, New York
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lionel McMurren talks about discrimination against minority teachers in New York City public schools
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lionel McMurren describes building a team of administrators for Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10 in New York, New York
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lionel McMurren talks about his goals as principal of Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10 in New York, New York
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lionel McMurren sings Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10's school song
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lionel McMurren talks about having conferences with new teachers at Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10, in New York, New York
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lionel McMurren talks about connections he made as principal of Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lionel McMurren talks about connections he made as principal of Frederick Douglass Junior High School in New York, New York, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lionel McMurren talks about becoming deputy superintendent for schools of New York and campaigning to improve schools in central Harlem, New York
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lionel McMurren describes training assistant principals and principals in his role as deputy superintendent of schools of New York, New York
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lionel McMurren talks about the influence of HistoryMaker Eugene H. Webb on Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10 in New York, New York
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lionel McMurren talks about the legacy of Frederick Douglass Intermediate School 10 in New York, New York, today and how it's changed
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lionel McMurren talks about his hope for Harlem, New York, New York
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lionel McMurren talks about his decision to retire in 1986
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lionel McMurren describes his involvement with civic organizations
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lionel McMurren talks about what he'd like to do during retirement
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lionel McMurren talks about Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, the Boule
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lionel McMurren talks about his love for Harlem, New York, New York and what it mean to be a good educator
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lionel McMurren reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lionel McMurren recites the poem, 'Invictus'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Lionel McMurren narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lionel McMurren narrates his photographs, pt.2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lionel McMurren narrates his photographs, pt.3