Franklin D. Murphy was born on January 29, 1916, in Kansas City, Missouri. His father, Franklin E. Murphy, M.D., was a member of the founding faculty of the University of Kansas School of Medicine. The younger Dr. Murphy was a graduate of the University of Kansas (B.A., 1936) and the University of Pennsylvania (M.D., 1941), where he completed an internship and residency in internal medicine. He was recruited to the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1946 as an Instructor of Medicine. Two years later Dr. Murphy was named Dean, succeeding Harry R. Wahl, M.D. He served in this post unil 1951, when he became Chancellor of the University of Kansas, a position he held until 1960. Dr. Murphy subsequently served as Chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles, California; Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Times Mirror Company, Los Angeles, California; and Chairman, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Dr. Murphy accomplished a considerable amount during his three years as Dean. He is best known for developing the "Kansas Plan" (which others termed the "Murphy Plan"), a comprehensive effort to imporove health care fo rural Kansans. Components of this program included the Rural Preceptorship and the Circuit Course. He also established the principal that the clinical faculty should be "geographically full time." Prior to this time, most clinical faculty maintained a private practice off campus.
A tribute to Dr. Murphy in the 1950 "Jayhawker M.D." read:
"Franklin Murphy, author of the widely quoted "Kansas Plan" for the extension of more adequate medical facilities for the rural areas of the State, has many times over earned the loyalty, affection, and respect of the students and the faculty. Possessed of a driving ambition for improvement in medicine in Kansas and the increase in the teaching facilities of the School of Medicine, he has worked and planned untiringly. From those of us who will make the "varsity" next year, our thanks."
Dr. Murphy died on June 16, 1994, at the age of 78. His obituary in the Independent (London, England) noted his "common sense, creative genius, and unerring eye for the right person for the job."