Current Issue

Nov.16, 2011

Vol. 112, No. 4


Richard W. Murphy ’51

Published in the Nov.16, 2011, issue

Dick, son of Albert C. and Helen (Welch) Murphy, was born Sept. 3, 1929, in St. Louis and raised in Washington, D.C.

At Princeton he was a history major, active in Orange Key and the Undergraduate Council, and a member of Dial Lodge. He roomed with Don Hahn, Cy Horine, Mac Fish, K.C. Miller, Charlie Stout, and Bo Willis. After graduation he won a Fulbright to study in Austria, followed by service in the Army for three years. In 1959 he earned a master’s degree in geology from the University of Wyoming.
As a petroleum geologist, Dick spent 25 years with Esso in Europe, Africa, Singapore, and South America, seeking oil in isolated and difficult locations. In 1977 he was based in Houston and finally in the U.K. in 1980. In 1983 he left Esso and became an independent consulting geologist, working in the Middle East and Southeast Asia on behalf of the World Bank and various oil companies.
He and his wife, Kate, were separated in 1988. Dick was an accomplished writer and poet and a loving father to Rachael, Sarah, and Troy. He died Sept. 8, 2010, and is survived by his children; six grandchildren; and his sister, Patte Crosland.

The Class of 1951

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