Hartford Foundation Receives Second-Largest Gift Ever
By FULVIO CATIVO, Courant Staff Writer
September 29, 2007
A West Hartford manufacturing executive who died in April has left $14 million to The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving to assist with a variety of local charitable efforts, including bolstering education and battling child hunger.
The second-largest gift the organization has received since its founding in 1925 came from the estate of John Davis Murphy, a former chief executive at Wiremold, a West Hartford-based electrical products manufacturer.
Murphy, whose father founded the company in 1900, retired as Wiremold's CEO in 1979 and continued as chairman until 1991. He died at age 95.
The Hartford Foundation's announcement comes days after Kingswood-Oxford School - where Murphy graduated from high school in 1930 - said it had received a separate $1 million bequest from Murphy.
Murphy and his late wife, Edith Wootton Murphy, who died in 1999, designated several purposes to which the foundation could apply the $14 million gift.
Along with local efforts to assist education, end hunger and expand human rights, the couple's gift will further environmental efforts, arts and culture projects and health and medical research.
Murphy's daughter, Linda Murphy Richardson of Morristown, N.J., said her father was a great believer in community service and public giving.
"For as long as I can remember, he was involved in a long list of charities in the Hartford area," she said in a written statement.
Foundation officials said the gift from the Murphys will leave a lasting mark in communities across Greater Hartford.
Last year, the foundation awarded more than $24 million in grants to area causes and organizations.
"This region owes a great debt of gratitude to John and Edie Murphy for their generosity and their commitment to helping this community thrive," Linda J. Kelly, president of The Hartford Foundation, said in a written statement.
"They gave of their time and their resources during their lifetimes and, through their fund at the foundation, their generosity will continue forever."
Murphy, a Dartmouth College graduate who was born in Pittsburgh, spent most of his life in the Hartford area.
He was active in several local civic and business groups, including the Manufacturers Association of Hartford County and the Rotary Club of Hartford.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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