Thomas C. Murray
Thomas C. Murray, a former Director of this non-profit, and friend, died earlier this month (June 2008). We mourn his passing for varied reasons. Gone now is a dear friend of our organization, a firm unswerving pillar of support that often gave us a much needed boost of morale when we doubted our own abilities. Gone as well is a contributor to our newsletter, who over the past years submitted items of interest to our readership. Some of TC Murray’s writings are cited below with the appropriate links.
Thomas Murray was also a friend of many years, his loss has been difficult to accept. Those who were lucky to have known him personally will remember a unique person, with extensive knowledge of New Jersey history, U.S. history, and as a 'walking rolodex’ of names tied to politics and the corridors of power spanning several decades.
A former high school teacher whose career lasted 40 years, he taught at Mater Dei High School in Middletown, NJ, and earlier at Essex Catholic High School in Newark NJ. He had been active as well, as an organizer for the AFL-CIO Federation of Teachers, leading the first Catholic lay teachers strike in the United States and helped win landmark litigation before the NJ Supreme Court.
In 1972 he was instrumental in sponsoring a student movement to demand from the Nixon administration that New Jersey be represented in the Bicentennial Commission, winning recognition from President Richard Nixon, who subsequently appointed the historian Dr. Richard McCormick to represent the State of New Jersey. In 1975 Thomas Murray was appointed Executive Director of Newark’s own Bicentennial Commission.
Thomas Murray formerly of New York City lived in Red Bank, was a past Director of Camp Adrian, a former camp for disadvantaged youth located in the Catskill Mountains of New York, and was a graduate of Iona College and Fordham University. In the last years of his life he had dedicated himself to writing; producing a book of poetry, and lately was completing his memoirs. Earlier in his career he had authored “The Seven Wonders of N.J… and Then Some”, and a biography: “Just a Kid from Hell’s Kitchen.” Also a playwright and actor, he had performed a one-man skit of his authorship, entitled “Oh Brother”-- reflecting a fictionalized comedy of the Catholic school experience-- in 2006 at the Paulist Center in New York City. Seton Hall University accepted his papers and extensive memorabilia.
Thomas C. Murray, a life-long member of the American Civil Liberties Union, will be deeply missed by all who knew and adored his unique sense of humor. A group of friends and former students helped launch an Internet based memorial at www.tcmurray.org . Prior plans to host the memorial on our website was deemed inappropriate, given the nature of this organization’s mission and content. Our condolences to all who knew him. We bid farewell to a true friend.
DR. CHARLES HABIB MALIK, A Pioneer Remembered, by Thomas C. Murray
REMEMBERING, 'UNCLE PETE', by Thomas C. Murray
STANDING STILL IN TIME, (Remembrance Day in Holland), a poem by Thomas C Murray
The Spirit of ' 69, An Eccletic Anthology of Poems, by Thomas C. Murray, Book Review
Posted June 26, 2008
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