Knowing the Answers
The first thing Brian Murphy would say when he got home from work was, "Where are my girls?"
There were three of them: his wife, Judith, and their two daughters, Leila, 4, and Jessica, 5.
Mr. Murphy, 41, coordinated electronic bond trading for Cantor Fitzgerald. But as his wife made clear, "He would always talk about his three girls. That was his priority." He was always planning trips, teaching them things, springing little surprises. One of the last things he did was take everyone apple picking.
Mr. Murphy's mind was stuffed with facts. You name it, he knew it. "He knew a lot about nature ‹ different birds, insects, plants," said Steven Bram, his brother-in- law. "He knew all about gadgets and was great at fixing things. He was like a 'Jeopardy' contestant."
When friends got lost ‹ and it could be just about anywhere ‹ they called Mr. Murphy. He knew which roads to take. And he knew the answers, with great precision. Once, Jessica said to him, "How come you know so much more than Mommy?"
He answered, "I know a little bit about everything, and Mommy knows a lot about a few things."
But his wife said that he was being modest. He truly knew a lot about everything.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 27, 2001.