A Motto to Live By
Sometimes, you learn the most about someone from the silence. From what people who knew them best do not say. With Patrick Sean Murphy, they don't talk about his job much, as successful as he was.
No, those closest to him emphasize other pieces of his life. Because he did. They all say he had three loves: his family, basketball and fishing.
Summer weekends at the family cottage in Beach Haven, N.J., would find Mr. Murphy, 36, fishing on the 20-footer named Nothin' But Net. Because, though only 5- foot-9, he could drop a basketball into a net without hitting the rim.
Mr. Murphy, a vice president at Marsh & McLennan, formed basketball leagues. He was a regular at Knicks games. He even taught his daughter, Maggie, only 2 years old, to dribble (with both hands).
But he wasn't dogmatic. His son, Sean, 4, somehow wasn't charmed by basketball, so father and son would find projects. They'd fix things around the house in Millburn, N.J. They'd search Internet sites for information about trucks, Sean's passion, and Mr. Murphy would bookmark them.
"He enjoyed his success," said his wife, Vera. "But Patrick had a motto. He'd say he worked to live. He didn't live to work."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 29, 2001.