Irene Ellis Murphy Papers

Bentley Historical Library banner

Irene Ellis Murphy papers

The materials in this online repository form part of a larger Irene Ellis Murphy papers collection held by the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index to the materials, please consult the collection's online finding aid.

For questions or more information, please contact the Bentley Historical Library's Division of Reference and Access Services

Birmingham, Michigan, businesswoman, Democratic Regent of the University of Michigan; contain materials relating to her life and interest in the Philippines, especially during the administration of Frank Murphy, during World War II, and during the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos; papers relating to her interest in University of Michigan history; and photographs.

Irene Ellis Murphy was born in Connersville, Indiana in the years 1900. She received her M.A. from the University of Michigan in 1928 and began a career as a social worker with the Detroit Department of Public Welfare and the Council of Social Agencies. She worked here until 1945.

In 1929, she had married J. Harold Murphy, the brother of then Detroit Mayor Frank Murphy. When Murphy left to become Governor General of the Philippine Islands (1933-1935), he took many members of his family with him. From her stay in the Philippines in the mid-1930s, Irene Murphy would develop a life-long interest in the people and politics of the Islands.

Upon encouragement of Frank Murphy who headed the Philippine War Relief organization, Irene Murphy in 1945 accepted the position of field representative and assistant to the executive director. From 1946 to 1950, she worked with the Secretariat of the United Nations, and from 1951 to 1954, she was an advisor on Philippine cottage industries with the United States Foreign Operations Administration. Her work in this capacity led Irene Murphy to establish her own business back in Michigan in which she imported and merchandised Asian village products.

Irene Murphy was also a loyal Democrat, who served her party and her alma mater, the University of Michigan, with election to the Board of Regents, serving from 1957 to 1966.

Irene Murphy died July 25, 1989.

Please note:

Copyright is held by the Regents of the University of Michigan.

Access to digitized sound recordings may be limited to the reading room of the Bentley Historical Library, located on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan.

Recent Deposits RSS Feed

View more

Search Deep Blue

Advanced Search

Browse by

My Account


Coming Soon

MLibrary logo