Robert Daniel Murphy

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For other people named Robert Murphy, see Robert Murphy (disambiguation).
Robert Daniel Murphy
3/4 view of white man with dark hair, slightly fleshy face, necktie, dark suit, dark homburg
Murphy arrives for Potsdam conference July 15, 1945
Born (1894-10-28)October 28, 1894
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Died January 9, 1978(1978-01-09) (aged 83)
Borough of Manhattan, New York, New York
Ethnicity Irish-American[1]
Occupation diplomat
Organization U.S. Department of State
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Board member of
Religion Roman Catholic[2]
Spouse(s) Mildred Claire (née Taylor) (1921-1974, her death)
  • Francis Patrick Murphy
  • Catherine Louise Schmitz

Robert Daniel Murphy (October 28, 1894 – January 9, 1978) was an American diplomat.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Murphy began his career federal career at the U.S. Post Office (1916) then moved to be cipher clerk at the American Legation in Bern, Switzerland (1917). He was admitted to the U.S. Foreign Service in 1921. Among the several posts he held were Vice-Consul in Zurich and Munich, consul in Seville, consul in Paris from 1930 to 1936, and chargé d’affaires to the Vichy government. He was also the one-time State Department specialist on France.

In February 1941, Murphy negotiated the Murphy-Weygand Agreement, which allowed the United States to export to French North Africa in spite of the British blockade and trade restrictions against the Vichy-governed area.[11]

In autumn of 1942, at President Roosevelt's behest, Murphy investigated conditions in French North Africa in preparation for the Allied landings - Operation Torch, the first major Allied ground offensive during World War II. He was appointed the President’s personal representative with the rank of Minister to French North Africa. Murphy made contact with various French army officers in Algiers and recruited them to support the Allies when the invasion of French North Africa came.[12]

Prior to the November 8 invasion, Murphy, along with US General Mark Wayne Clark, had worked to gain the important blessing of the anti-British French General Henri Giraud for the attack. This blessing could be deployed if necessary against Governor François Darlan in order to gain his cooperation for the invasion. Darlan's cooperation was formalised on November 22; the Governor of French North Africa was assassinated little more than a month later.[11]

Diplomatic career after World War II[edit]

After government service[edit]

Murphy retired from the U.S. State Department in December 1959, but became an adviser to Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. He served on President Gerald Ford's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.

He was a member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group.[13]

In 2006, Murphy was featured on a United States postage stamp, one of a block of six featuring prominent diplomats.[14]



  1. ^ Roberts, Chalmers M. (February 11, 1978). "Robert D. Murphy: Loyal Soldier of the Cold War". Washington Post (Washington, D.C). p. A13. ISSN 0190-8286. ProQuest document ID 146953198. Retrieved 2014-08-22. 
  2. ^ "Robert D(aniel) Murphy". Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale. 2001. GALE|H1000071527. Retrieved 2014-08-22.  Biography in Context.
  3. ^ "Robert D. Murphy, Diplomat, Dies at 83; Planned Allied Invasion of North Africa; Breath-Taking Moment De Gaulle Not Informed Studied Law While Working Envoy to Belgium Ranking "Old Pro"". New York Times. January 11, 1978. p. B9. Retrieved 2014-08-23.  (subscription required)
  4. ^ Fox, Margalit (July 10, 2014). "Rosemary Murphy, 89, Emmy Winner Familiar to Broadway, Dies". New York Times. Retrieved 2014-08-23. 
  5. ^ Vaughan, Hal (2006). FDR's 12 apostles : the spies who paved the way for the invasion of North Africa. Guilford, Conn.: Lyons Press. ISBN 9781592289165. LCCN 2006022143. Retrieved 2014-08-23. 
  6. ^ "Office of Strategic Services Society". Falls Church, VA. Retrieved 2014-08-23. 
  7. ^ "Robert D. Murphy". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 2014-08-23. 
  8. ^ "Robert Daniel Murphy". Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1995. GALE|BT2310006918. Retrieved 2014-08-22.  Biography in Context.
  9. ^ "Robert Daniel Murphy Papers, Biographical Note". Stanford, California: Hoover Institution Archives. Retrieved 2014-08-22. 
  10. ^ Weil, Martin (January 10, 1978). "Robert D. Murphy Dies; Longtime U.S. Diplomat Played Key Role in WWII". The Washington Post. p. C6. ProQuest document ID 146964448. 
  11. ^ a b Gabriel Kolko (1968; 1990 edition with new afterword), The Politics of War: The World and United States Foreign Policy, 1943-1945, ASIN B0007EOISO. Chapter 4.
  12. ^ Atkinson, Rick (2002). An army at dawn : the war in North Africa, 1942-1943 (First ed.). New York, NY: Henry Holt & Co. pp. 45–46, 48–91, 61, 72, 89, 93–96, 107, 115, 118–119, 121–123, 158, 251, 252. ISBN 0805062882. LCCN 2002024130. Retrieved 2014-08-23. 
  13. ^ "Former Steering Committee Members". Bilderberg Group. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  14. ^ "USPS Stamp News: SIX DISTINGUISHED DIPLOMATS HONORED ON U.S. POSTAGE STAMPS". U.S. Postal Service. May 30, 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-10-27. Retrieved 2014-08-23. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
John D. Hickerson
Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
March 20, 1953 – November 30, 1953
Succeeded by
David McK. Key
Preceded by
Omar Bradley
Sylvanus Thayer Award recipient
Succeeded by
W. Averell Harriman