William J. Murray

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For the New York politician, see William J. Murray (politician).
William J. Murray
Born William J. Murray III
(1946-05-25) May 25, 1946 (age 72)
Ashland County, Ohio, U.S.
Occupation Author, Minister, Lobbyist
Organization Religious Freedom Coalition
Known for Murray vs. Curlett
Son of Madalyn Murray O'Hair
My Life Without God
Title Chairman
Children Robin, +1 more
Parent(s) William J. Murray, Jr.
Madalyn Murray O'Hair
Relatives Jon Garth Murray (half-brother)
Website wjmurray.com

William J. "Bill" Murray III (born May 25, 1946) is an American author, Baptist minister, and social conservative lobbyist who currently serves as the chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition, a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C., active on issues related to aiding Christians in Islamic and Communist countries. The son of the late atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Murray played a significant part alongside his mother in the ending of mandatory prayer in public schools in 1963.


William J. Murray III was born in Ohio in 1946, the son of William J. Murray Jr. and Madalyn Murray O'Hair, an atheist activist[1] who came to national attention in 1960 when she filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court of the United States, stating that compulsory prayer and reading of the Bible in public schools was unconstitutional. The Murrays' case, Murray v. Curlett, was ultimately folded into Abington School District v. Schempp, a landmark 1963 ruling which held mandatory Bible reading in public schools to be unconstitutional.

Throughout his life, Murray has worked in various industries in the private sector, including the airline industry.[2]

Murray became a Christian in 1980. Learning of his conversion, his mother commented: "One could call this a postnatal abortion on the part of a mother, I guess; I repudiate him entirely and completely for now and all times. He is beyond human forgiveness."[3] Madalyn, William's daughter Robin, and William's brother Jon Garth Murray were later kidnapped and murdered by former American Atheists employee David Roland Waters in 1995.[4]



  1. ^ Robert Bryce (4 June 1999). "Preying on Atheists". Austin Chronicle. 
  2. ^ Interview by Vic Eliason with Bill Murray in early 2012: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emrr-fQLYl0 the 20 minute, 50 second mark
  3. ^ Dracos, Ted (2003). UnGodly: The Passions, Torments, and Murder of Atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair. Free Press. p. 138. ISBN 0743228332. OL 7927528M. 
  4. ^ John MacCormack (10 July 2003). "True Confession". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 15 July 2017. 

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