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Don Murray Memorial Service Jan. 27

By Jody Record, Media Relations
January 10, 2007

Don Murray
Don Murray

[ed. Note: *See also in this issue “Journalism Student Remembers Don Murray”]

Friends and colleagues will gather for a memorial service Saturday, Jan. 27, to honor former English professor and Pulitzer Prize winning writer Don Murray, who died last month while visiting friends in Massachusetts.

The service will take place at 2 p.m. in the Johnson Theater, Paul Creative Arts Center.

In lieu of flowers, family members request that donations be made to the Don Murray Endowed Journalism Fund, which will support the UNH journalism program.

Murray, who won the coveted Pulitzer in 1954 for editorials that appeared in the Boston Herald, died Dec. 30. He was 82. The Durham resident launched the journalism program at UNH in 1963 when he joined the faculty after a brief stint with Time Magazine.

Born in Quincy, Mass., Murray was a paratrooper during World War II and graduated from UNH with a degree in English in 1948. He got his start as a copyboy at the Herald and became a staff reporter in 1949. Murray spent most of the 1950s working as a

freelance writer. He retired from UNH in 1984.

In 1981, Murray won the Yankee Quill Award, awarded by the New England Society of Newspaper Editors and the New England Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. UNH awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1990.

For the last two decades, Murray wrote the Boston Globe column “Over 60”, which later became “Now and Then.” He was also the author of numerous memoirs, poems, and books on writing. At 82, he planned to launch a new Web site for aspiring writers.

In his last Globe column, published Dec. 26, 2006, Murray wrote, "Each time I sit down to write I don't know if I can do it. The flow of writing is always a surprise and a challenge. Click the computer on and I am 17 again, wanting to write and not knowing if I can."

In 1951, Murray married Minnie Mae Emmerich, whose slow death from Parkinson's disease in 2005 was among the personal, private and sometimes painful parts of his life Murray chronicled in his column.

Murray is credited with influencing generations of writers, editors and teachers around the country and the world.* His death prompted many of those people to write and talk about his impact on their lives. As David Cohen '66 put it, "We former students and acolytes of Don's are legion, and we experience his passing as if we were indeed his children."

Survivors include his daughters Anne Murray of Weymouth, Mass., and Hannah Starobin of Mount Kisco, N.Y., two grandsons and a granddaughter.

Donations can be mailed to UNH Foundation, 9 Edgewood Road, 03824 or online at http://www.foundation.sr.unh.edu/giftform.shtml. Under ‘designation,” go to "other" and type in Donald Murray Endowed Journalism Fund. Or, contact Jennifer Higgins-Pitre at the Foundation.

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