Entrepreneur George Murray was born on November 24, 1942 in Kansas City, Kansas to Luretta Fielder and Harold Murray. After graduating from Bonner Springs High School in 1960, Murray joined the Air Force, completing his basic training in San Antonio, Texas. He was discharged in 1964 after completing three years’ service in France. Murray received his B.A. degree in business and accounting from Central Missouri State University in 1970, and his M.B.A. degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) in 1972.
Prior to attending Central Missouri State University, Murray worked at the Kansas City Missouri post office from 1964 to 1967. During his two years at UMKC, he worked part time for the Black Economic Union helping minority businesses develop their accounting systems, marketing strategies, internal controls and management skills. In 1972, Murray joined the accounting firm of Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. in Minneapolis, Minnesota as an accountant on the audit team. Three years later, he moved to Washington, D.C. to work for the Booker T. Washington Foundation where he helped minority local elected officials bring the benefits of cable television franchising to their communities. In 1980, Murray went to work for Curtis McClinton, head of Economic Development Administration's Office of Special Projects in the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he provided loans and loan guarantees to minority businesses including automobile dealerships, restaurant franchises and small manufacturing businesses. Murray was appointed acting assistant secretary for finance for the U.S. Department of Commerce in 1981, controlling over $3 billion in loans and loan guarantees. Murray also founded and operated Majestic Enterprises, a parking management company located in Washington, D.C. In 1985, Murray left the government, sold his parking company and formed G.E. Murray & Associates which became a Midas muffler franchisee in Capitol Heights, Maryland. During the next five years, Murray built two additional franchises, one in Clinton, Maryland and the other in Camp Springs, Maryland. In 1986, Murray founded GE Cellular and began to apply for cellular licenses in selected areas of the country, and was successful in owning two licenses and participating in the ownership of several others. Murray sold the licenses in 1989 and 1990. In the early 1990s, Murray began to purchase buildings alone the H. Street Corridor N.E. in Washington, D.C. He went on to form the real estate development company East Chop, LLC. In 2007, Murray sold his Midas franchises and leased the land and buildings to Midas International.
In 1989, Murray and his wife, Stephanie Phillipps formed the Phillipps-Murray Foundation. The Foundation provides scholarships to minority students in the D.C. metropolitan area. In the 2000s Murray served on the board of City First Bank, which provided credit and financial services to Washington, D.C.'s low and moderate income neighborhoods. Murray was also a member of the National Association of Guardsmen.
George Murray and his wife reside in Washington, D.C. and have two adult children: Sydney Murray and Michael Murray.
George Murray was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 25, 2019.
University of Central Missouri
University of Missouri, Kansas City
Bonner Springs High School
District of Columbia
Pasta and Clams
Entrepreneur George Murray (1942- ) was an independent investor in cellular service licenses and developed properties on H Street in Washington, D.C.
G.E. Murray & Associates, Inc.
Kansas City Missouri Post Office
Black Economic Union
Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co.
Booker T. Washington Foundation
Economic Development Administration's Office of Special Projects
U.S. Department of Commerce
Eat Chop, LLC