Philip D. Murphy, who served as President Barack Obama’s ambassador to Germany, is the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination in the New Jersey Governor’s race. The Massachusetts-born Murphy is married to Tammy Snyder and has four children. They live in Monmouth County.
The 59-year-old Murphy earned a degree in economics from Harvard University and got an M.B.A. in 1983 at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He was hired by Goldman Sachs shortly after graduation and worked at offices in Frankfurt and Hong Kong in 23 years at the company. From 2006 to 2009, Murphy served as the Democratic National Committee Finance Chair.
After his tenure as the Ambassador to Germany, he launched New Start New Jersey, a progressive policy think tank that helped raise his political profile in the Garden State. Murphy has never held elective office before.
Here’s a look at Murphy’s family.
1. Murphy’s Father Never Graduated High School & His Parents Lived Paycheck-to-Paycheck
Murphy was born in Needham, Massachusetts. According to his campaign website, his father never graduated high school and his mother was a secretary. His father took odd jobs, even working as a pallbearer, to support the family. When he was 13 years old, Murphy had to take a job as a dishwasher. He had to save up himself to pay for a Harvard education.
“Growing up, our family lived paycheck to paycheck. I put myself through college and grad school,” Murphy told the New Jersey Patch. “Then I built a successful career learning how economies grow and create jobs.”
As NJ.com notes, Murphy often described his family as “middle class on a good day” when he was growing up. His parents were strict Roman Catholics and had a picture of the Pope hanging next to a picture of President John F. Kennedy.
2. Murphy’s Mother Died in 2008 at Age 93
According to Murphy’s mother’s 2008 obituary, Dorothy Louise Murphy (nee Dunton) died at age 93. Her husband, Walter F. Murphy preceded her in death.
Murphy has two sisters, Janet Brown and Dorothy Egan. Dorothy is marred to Brendan Egan and they live in Wayland, Massachusetts, as of 2008.
3. Murphy Has 4 Children, Josh, Sam, Charles & Emmanuelle
Murphy and his wife, Tammy, have four children – sons Josh, Sam and Charles Dunton and daughter Emmanuelle Medway. according to The New York Times, their eldest, Josh, is a sophomore at Tufts University.
Josh currently plays soccer at Tufts. According to his college bio, his favorite professional athlete is Kobe Bryant. He also hopes to become a U.S. ambassador someday and is studying international relations. Before attending Tufts, he played soccer at Phillips Academy Andover.
Two River Times reports that Emma also attended Phillips. Tammy also joined her for a special mission in Nicaragua.
4. Murphy Waited 7 Years to Ask His Future Wife Out on a Date
Tammy and Murphy met in 1987 when they both worked at Goldman Sachs, notes AllGove.com. But, according to Two River Times, Murphy didn’t ask her out on a date for seven years. From that moment, their relationship quickly progressed and they married in 1994.
“If you were in my shoes and just followed her around for one day, you could see why I’m so in love with her,” Murphy told the Two River Times. “I’m the one who wonders what she sees in me.”
Tammy no longer works at Goldman Sachs, but has remained busy. According to her New Start New Jersey bio, she is the chair and co-founder of the think tank with her husband. She is a Virginia native, earning a degree in English and Communications from the University of Virginia in 1987.
5. Tammy & Murphy Co-Founded 2nd Floor, a Youth Help Hotline
Murphy and his wife co-founded 2nd Floor, a youth help hotline in New Jersey. The hotline is available 24/7 and provides confidential help to youths who call 888-222-2228.
The couple has focused their philanthropic efforts on education, health and arts. They have also supported international organizations.