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Maurice J. Murphy Jr.
United States Senator
from New Hampshire

In office
December 7, 1961 – November 6, 1962
Preceded by Styles Bridges
Succeeded by Thomas J. McIntyre
Personal details
Born October 3, 1927
Dover, New Hampshire
Died October 27, 2002(2002-10-27) (aged 75)
Stratham, New Hampshire
Political party Republican
Alma mater College of the Holy Cross
Boston College Law School

Maurice J. ("Moe") Murphy Jr. (October 3, 1927 – October 27, 2002) was (for one month) the New Hampshire Attorney General and (for eleven months) an appointed United States Senator.

Born in Dover, New Hampshire, he graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 1950 and from Boston College Law School in 1953. He was admitted to the bar and commenced the practice of law in Portsmouth in 1955. He served as an enlisted man in the United States Army in 1946 and 1947 and again in 1953 and 1954. He was legal counsel to the New Hampshire Senate in 1957-1958, and administrative assistant to Governor Wesley Powell from 1959 to 1961. After serving as deputy attorney general for several months, Murphy was appointed by Governor Powell as New Hampshire Attorney General, and took office on November 4, 1961.[1] Three weeks later, the longest-serving U.S. Senator, conservative Republican H. Styles Bridges, died in office. On December 7, 1961, Governor Powell appointed Murphy as U.S. Senator, to fill the vacancy until a November 1962 special election. Powell's choice of Murphy was controversial; powerful publisher William Loeb published a front-page editorial in the Manchester Union Leader attacking Powell for passing over the late Senator's widow Doloris Bridges.[2] Many political observers expected that Mrs. Dolores Bridges would be appointed to her husband's seat.[3]

Murphy ran in the 1962 election in an effort to keep his seat. However, Murphy was challenged in the primary by Doloris Bridges, Congressman Perkins Bass, and Congressman Chester Merrow.[2] Murphy finished third behind Bass and Mrs. Bridges.[4] Governor Powell, too, was defeated in that primary, and in his election night speech, he referenced Loeb's opposition and added that "I'm paying the penalty for appointing a Catholic to the U.S. Senate."[4]

Murphy then resumed the practice of law. He was chairman of the board and general counsel of the Portsmouth (N.H.) Savings Bank from 1968 to 1988. At the time of his death in 2002, he resided in Stratham, New Hampshire. He was interred in Prospect Hill Cemetery in Greenland, New Hampshire.


  1. "Attorney General: Names Murphy to Bridges Post," Nashua Telegraph, December 7, 1961 at 1-2.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Charm of Murphy and Avid Workers Help Cause," Nashua Telegraph, August 21, 1962 at 1-3.
  3. "Best Wishes Sent By Mrs. Bridges". Portsmouth Herald. December 7, 1961. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Bass Defeats Mrs. Bridges for Senate Seat," Nashua Telegraph September 12, 1962 at 1.

External links[]

United States Senate
Preceded by
H. Styles Bridges
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from New Hampshire
Served alongside: Norris H. Cotton
Succeeded by
Thomas J. McIntyre
Honorary titles
Preceded by
John Tower
Youngest Member of the United States Senate
December 7, 1961 – November 6, 1962
Succeeded by
Ted Kennedy

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