Westbrook Murphy, Foundation Legal Counsel

Celebrating 40 Years of Service

With the 2017 Scholars at the Truman Library in Independence, MO

Please join us in celebrating C. Westbrook Murphy, Legal Counsel, on his  40th year of service to the Foundation. Mr. Murphy was instrumental in the creation of the Foundation as Scholars know it today. He served as a constant source of advice, inspiration and cheerleading to generations of Truman Scholars. A fixture at all Foundation events, Mr. Murphy could always be counted on to remind Scholars of the legacy President Truman as well as encourage them to expand and challenge the definitions of service and the expectations of our program.

The Truman Foundation is something of a family business. Westbrook Murphy's father, Charles Murphy, was White House Counsel to President Truman. Charles Murphy was among the early architects of the President Truman's living memorial, writing the Truman Scholarship Act and serving as the first Legal Counsel to the Foundation. When he retired, Westbrook Murphy was the obvious choice to continue his father's work.

Mr. Murphy had a distinguished career with positions in the Department of Justice, Civil Division and the US Treasury, where he served as the General Counsel of the bureau responsible for the regulation of national banks. Mr. Murphy holds a bachelor's degree in history from Duke University and a law degree from Yale University. 

When not regaling the unsuspecting with stories of President Truman or encouraging the latest class of Truman Scholars, Mr. Murphy can be found sailing on his boat or quickly finishing a New York Times Crossword puzzle. He and his wife Cindy Murphy have three children and six grandchildren.

During his tenure at the Foundation, Mr. Murphy spearheaded efforts to ensure the Foundation was financially secure. His early interventions helped the Foundation to weather the current economic climate without significant changes to programs and services. He also helped the Foundation to grow its programs for Scholars by updating and interpreting Foundation regulations. Mr. Murphy represented and sometimes defended the Foundation's interests as we worked with other agencies and Congress to create a program that would help to identify public service leaders.

No one has done more to ensure the future of the Foundation. After 40 years, Westbrook has announced his intention to retire as legal counsel - but will continue to be a champion of Truman Scholars.

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- Harry S. Truman

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