Jack Murphy (sportswriter)

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Jack Murphy
Born(1923-02-05)February 5, 1923
Denver, Colorado
DiedSeptember 24, 1980(1980-09-24) (aged 57)
Los Angeles, California
RelativesBob Murphy (brother)

Jack Murphy (February 5, 1923 – September 24, 1980) was a sports editor and columnist for the San Diego Union newspaper from 1951–1980. Jack Murphy Stadium was named in his honor. He was affectionately referred to by fans simply as "The Murph" and "El Murph" by Spanish speakers.

Early life[edit]

Murphy was born on February 5, 1923 in Denver, Colorado.[1] He was the older brother of New York Mets broadcaster Bob Murphy.


Murphy moved from Fort Worth, Texas in 1951 to become a sportswriter for the San Diego Union newspaper.[2]

On December 21, 1960, Murphy wrote a column for the San Diego Union proposing the Los Angeles Chargers American Football League team become a San Diego franchise.[3] Over the next year, through his Union articles, he would become a key figure in persuading San Diegans to relocate the Chargers.[4] He also helped secure the Padres baseball team as a National League expansion team in 1969.

Jack Murphy Stadium[edit]

Statue of Jack Murphy and his dog Abe in front of the stadium

After the Chargers began to outgrow Balboa Stadium, Murphy assisted in lobbying for a new San Diego stadium in his sports articles for the San Diego Union.[5] A 50,000-seat stadium was proposed to and approved by San Diego voters in 1965.[2][5]

The eventual 54,000-seat San Diego Stadium was renamed San Diego–Jack Murphy Stadium[6] after Murphy died in 1980.[7] It was also known by its shortened name "The Murph".[5] The stadium was renamed Qualcomm Stadium in 1997 and Qualcomm will retain naming rights until 2017. In order to continue to honor Murphy, the city named the stadium site Jack Murphy Field.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Murphy owned a black Labrador Retriever named Abe that he would write about in his articles. A statue of Murphy with Abe is located in front of Qualcomm Stadium.[2]

Murphy was a third cousin of billionaire investor Warren Buffett.[citation needed]

Murphy died on September 24, 1980 of lung cancer.[4]


On May 3, 1988, Murphy was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame.[1]


  1. ^ a b "1988 – John Patrick "Jack" Murphy". NSSA. Archived from the original on June 18, 2014. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Canepa, Nick (January 21, 2003). "The writer who came into town and left a city". San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on June 18, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
  3. ^ Crawford, Richard W. (2011). The Way We Were in San Diego. The History Press. p. 121. ISBN 978-1-60949-441-4. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Wilson, Bernie (January 22, 2003). "Al Davis Unveils Murphy Statue". The Ledger. Associated Press. Archived from the original on June 18, 2014. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Krasovic, Tom (July 6, 2013). "Most historic sports site? The stadium". San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on June 18, 2014. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  6. ^ "It's San Diego–Jack Murphy Stadium". St. Petersburg Times. January 7, 1981. p. 2C. Retrieved July 4, 2016.
  7. ^ Engstrand, Iris (2005). San Diego: California's Cornerstone. Sunbelt Publications. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-932653-72-7.
  8. ^ San Diego City Council Minutes, March 31, 1997