Anthony H. Murray, Jr., former U.S. Mint superintendent

Anthony H. Murray Jr.
Anthony H. Murray Jr.
Posted: August 21, 2014

Anthony H. Murray Jr. was one the first Americans to arrive in Japan after World War II, and he brought back a souvenir: a sword a Japanese soldier had traded for a carton of cigarettes.

"You could probably call my father adventurous," said son Anthony H. III.

Mr. Murray, 88, a rear admiral, lawyer, and real estate broker, died Saturday, Aug. 16. He had been superintendent of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, appointed by President Ronald Reagan.

Born in Bethlehem, Pa., the oldest of seven children, Mr. Murray graduated from St. Joseph's Preparatory School in 1944 and attended the Pennsylvania Maritime Academy onboard the school ship Keystone State.

He graduated as a commissioned ensign in the Navy Reserve and a licensed Merchant Marine officer in August 1945 - just as World War II ended.

He used to say, "They knew Murray was coming," his son recalled.

Nevertheless, he served two years on Merchant Liberty and Victory cargo ships for the reconstruction of Japan, followed by a year of active duty on board the Mississippi as an engineering officer.

He joined the Navy's submarine reserve in 1949 while enrolled at what is now St. Joseph's University, where he received an undergraduate degree in business administration in 1950.

The Navy ordered him to active duty the next year. He was stationed at the services submarine base in Groton, Conn., during the Korean War until 1953.

Mr. Murray received several service medals.

In 1981 he retired from the reserve after 36 years of service. He attained the rank of rear admiral and chairman of the National Reserve Policy Board.

"You could call the Navy Reserve his second job and hobby too," said his son.

In civilian life, Mr. Murray entered Temple University's School of Law for night classes in 1953, and four years later he received a juris doctorate.

He served as executive vice president and general counsel at Walker & Murray in 1960, then in 1967 he joined the Korman Corp. as vice president of community development. He developed a private law practice that specialized in wills and real estate brokerage.

In 1980 Mr. Murray campaigned for the Pennsylvania legislature to represent Northeast Philadelphia and narrowly lost the election.

The following year, Reagan appointed him to lead the Mint. He retired from government service in 1988.

"He loved helping others with his experience and skills," Anthony Murray III said. "He was always willing to give good advice."

In addition to his sons, Mr. Murray is survived by his wife, Wilma; daughters Susan and Virginia; sons Kenneth and Michael; eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

A viewing will be Thursday, Aug. 21, from 10 to 11:45 a.m. at St. Jerome Church, 8100 Colfax St. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at noon. Interment with military honors follows at Washington Crossing National Cemetery.

Contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Ave., Seventh floor, New York, N.Y. 10001.

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