Edward C. Murphy

Edward  C.  Murphy
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Defying Easy Categorization

Edward C. Murphy's life brimmed with contrasts and deep loyalties. He was a staunch Republican who invested in real estate and race horses. But he also helped nonprofit groups raise money for food and clothing for poor children in his native Clifton, N.J.

He loved the vitality of Manhattan but insisted on living in Clifton, where he headed a town board that improved traffic safety, especially around schools. Mr. Murphy, 42, was a managing director at Cantor Fitzgerald and was as busy as the job title implies, but every morning at 9 sharp, he called his mother Evelyn, a 77-year-old widow. On Sept. 11, her phone rang on schedule, minutes after the first jetliner hit.

"He said, 'Mom, I'm O.K., I'm getting out,' " said Mr. Murphy's brother Daniel. "She just cherishes that moment."

Mr. Murphy's girlfriend of 17 years, Maryann Flego, called him a "quick-witted maverick " who jogged for years and loved both classical and rock music and the works of Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and R.C. Gorman, a Navajo artist in the Southwest. He delighted in haggling to cut prices of many of his purchases, whether a pearl ring for Ms. Flego or a pretzel at a ball game.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 19, 2001.

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