Ola Mae Murphy, The Inspiration

When Bob Murphy was ten years old, his mother, Ola Mae Murphy, took him to the Veterans’ Hospital in Long Beach, California. The sight of wounded soldiers, some without legs or arms, and some with horrific disfigurements, shocked the little boy. And then he heard the words of his mother:

Don’t ever feel sorry for yourself—and always help others less fortunate than you.

This was the seed that would someday grow up to be the Murphy Family Foundation.

Ola Murphy raised her children, Bob, his two brothers, Donnie and Warren, and his sister Donna, with the values of volunteerism. Through her words and example, she instilled in them the absolute principle that care for others less fortunate was their responsibility as human beings. Her work in Junior League, the American Dental Association Auxiliary and other community organizations like the Long Beach Assistance League, were lessons they never forgot.

Help those who suffer. Use your blessings to bless.


Bob got his first hand taste of philanthropy in college when he and his fraternity brother, Skip Keesal, got the idea one holiday season to sell Christmas trees. With the help of their Sigma Alpha Epsilon brothers, they ran a tree lot for 2 years and raised thousands of dollars for the Crippled Children’s Foundation. He remembers having the thought then that someday he wanted to do more. The seed had taken root.

When Ola spent her final days under excellent care at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Bob expressed his appreciation through charitable support of the Donor Advisory Fund. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Memorial Care Foundation. There he learned what it took to run a sound foundation, the importance of financial management and program development, under the mentorship of Jim Normandin, past president of the Memorial Medical Center Foundation.

Robert (Bob) Murphy