Robert Cushman Murphy
Date of Birth : Apr 29, 1887
Date of Death : Mar 20, 1973
Robert Cushman Murphy was an American ornithologist and Lamont Curator of birds at the American Museum of Natural History.
Murphy was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Thomas D. Murphy and Augusta Cushman. He was an undergraduate at Brown University, where he graduated in 1911. The author of over 600 scientific articles, he also wrote such books as Logbook for Grace: Whaling Brig Daisy, 1912-1913 and Oceanic Birds of South America. In 1951, Murphy led the expedition that rediscovered the Bermuda petrel, or cahow, a bird believed to have been extinct for 330 years.
After Murphy's retirement to Old Field, New York, in 1957, he, along with other citizens of Long Island including Archibald Roosevelt, unsuccessfully sued to stop the spraying of DDT. Before he died, the Three Village Central School District named the Robert Cushman Murphy Junior High School in his honor.
In 1936 Murphy was awarded the Daniel Giraud Elliot Medal of the National Academy of Sciences. He was elected a Corresponding Member of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union in 1939.
Most of his personal papers are archived at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia.