Donald Murphy Prize for Distinguished First Book

Prize Committee


One copy of the prize submission should be sent to each of the following committee members. To meet the prize deadline, submissions must be postmarked by January 20, 2019.

  • Dr. Jill C. Bender (Committee Chair)
    Dept. of History
    University of North Carolina at Greensboro
    2129 MHRA Building
    P.O. Box 26170
    Greensboro, NC 27402
    Contact the committee chair at jcbender@uncg.edu with questions about this prize.
  • Dr. Cian T. McMahon, PhD
    University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    Department of History
    Box 455020
    4505 S. Maryland Parkway
    Las Vegas, NV 89154-5020
  • Dr. Peter D. O’Neill
    Department of Comparative Literature
    University of Georgia
    218 Joe Brown Hall, Athens, Georgia 30602

About this Prize

Don Murphy was born in Plainfield, New Jersey, and died in New York on March 2, 1986. He received his bachelor of electrical engineering degree and his bachelor of science degree in physics and mathematics from Manhattan College in 1958. Like many of his generation he went to work in defense and in aerospace: Ford Instrument and the Republic Aviation Missile Systems Group, Plasma Propulsion Research group and AOSO and GREB satellite system. His last position in industry was as a group leader for the manned Apollo mission at the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation.

He left industry to work in biomedical research engineering where he was the assistant director of the department at Long Island College Hospital. While he was at LICH he earned his master of science degree in bio-engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1968. He was awarded his PhD in biomedical engineer in June 1971 for his thesis Ectopic Vulnerability Windows of the Cardiac Cycle. He directed the bio-medical engineer program at Long Island College Hospital before he joined the faculty of the engineering department at Hofstra University where he was teaching at the time of his untimely death at fifty-one.

A fine musician and linguist, a champion sailor and enthusiastic skier, he was an avid if reluctant traveler who hated to be away from his lab. Since he believed that recognition often comes too late for scholars, when he died it seemed fitting to honor his life with a prize that would recognize the first published book of young scholars.