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Charles D. Murphy, III

Died: February 28, 2014

On February 28, 2014 Charles D. Murphy III, 70, died peacefully after a long courageous battle with leukemia in his home at Sea Ranch, CA, where he had made his home for the last fourteen years of his life.

The son of Jean Mulholland Murphy and Charles D. Murphy, Jr., Charles was born on February 23, 1944, and was raised in Milford, Delaware. He attended St. Andrew’s School. At Yale, he majored in Russian studies, and he received his master’s in international relations from Columbia University in 1968. While at Yale, he was a member of Calhoun College (Tent Society, tackle football, basketball, golf, and ROTC). ROTC prepared him for service as a lieutenant in army intelligence immediately after graduating from Columbia.

Charles’s business career spanned nearly forty years. He worked in international banking at Chemical Bank, both in New York City and later in San Francisco, and then at Sutro and Company in San Francisco, where he worked as an investment banker and financial manager. Charles also taught business as an adjunct professor of finance at the University of San Francisco McLaren Business School, where his class was voted most popular by his students three years running. On his retirement from Sutro, he continued to work as an independent consultant on investment banking litigation, especially the preparation and handling of expert witnesses in security litigation, and other financial issues.

Charles was active in community service, first as a board member at the Seacology Foundation and, after his retirement from work in 2007, as a board member of RCLC and as a member of the audit committee at RCMS.

Tom McCaffrey writes eloquently about Charles in his remembrance of him for this book.

Charles loved to travel. He enjoyed golf, reading the New York Times, bridge, and brushing up on his Russian. He was an avid hiker, and especially enjoyed long walks at Stinson Beach on Friday afternoons with Kathy, his wife of forty-three years.

In addition to Kathy, Charles is survived by his daughter, Kirsten; son, Lorin and daughter-in-law, Kim; sister, Sharon (husband Jay) Bailey; brother, John (wife Carol) Murphy; brother, Harry Murphy; and many nieces and nephews.

Thomas McCaffrey remembers:

Charlie had a witty gravity about him that few can claim. Were he to be given the microphone at a riotous Super Bowl game and simply say “Ahem” the boisterous crowd would come to a complete silence waiting for what was for certain to be an important and eloquently phrased message. He could wax at length on subjects with which he was very familiar and equally so on ones he knew little about. Gifted with an extraordinary intellect, his observations in both cases would be compelling and typically correct. He was a true Renaissance man whose capacity for knowledge was without bounds. But most of all he was a gentleman in the old school sense of the word. I used to think that Charlie commanded attention because of what he said — and this is largely true — but much more important was the cadence in his voice, a rhythm that expressed serious intent coupled with a wry sense of humor. He was the “go to” guy among the eleven of us who roomed together in the “Castle” in Calhoun both in the days of old right up to our more recent bi-annual gatherings. I was blessed to have him as a roommate and lifelong friend. No better eulogy could be written about him than that which appeared on his Memorial Service card: “Smile because it happened.” He was that special.

William Barnes remembers:

We are all a part of the people we know or have known, and some of these people have the remarkable ability to loom large in their positive influence on others’ lives. Charlie Murphy has been such a person for Sara and me, and undoubtedly many others. If only we all had the capacity to share these thoughts earlier and more often with those who have mattered so much in our lives.

The intrepid, approachable, and ever witty Charlie was a welcome discovery at Yale for many of us, and that certainly includes me. Even then his capacity for wisdom and connectedness with others was very apparent. And what an ideal person to explore the full range of activities in the college years — from crazy parties to late night debates on the issues of the day. That rich blend of qualities carried on throughout his life.

Sara and I will always admire Charlie for the teaching contributions he made at the USF McLaren School of Business, where he teamed up with another finance star to put on one of the most popular and sought after classes in corporate finance offered at the school. As we were also active at USF at the time, we well remember Charlie’s glowing reputation on campus. He influenced a new generation of talented people and made a lasting and ongoing contribution to other peoples’ lives. This was Charlie’s legacy in so many of his life’s endeavors.