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Richard Murphy: In Memoriam

The community schools field lost a key leader, visionary and champion this week when Richard Murphy died at the age of 68 after a brief illness. An important part of Murphy’s 40-year youth work career involved his four-year stint as Commissioner of Youth Services in New York City (1990-1994), when he served under Mayor David Dinkins and launched the Beacons Centers, a national community schools model that has been replicated in at least six other cities around the country. 
 
Murphy’s many other accomplishments include: serving as founding director of the Rheedlen Center for Children (which later became the Harlem Children’s Zone) from 1970 to 1990; as Director of the Center for Youth Development and Policy Research at the Academy for Educational Development (1995-2002); Executive Director of FoodChange (2002-6); and Founding Director of iMapAmerica, a position in which he continued to serve until his untimely death on February 14. 
 
The day before he died, Murphy offered the following advice to his friend and colleague, Jane Quinn, from The Children’s Aid Society:  "Keep Community Schools Alive…"
 
To all of us who have chosen this line of work, our colleague Richard Murphy has provided both a charge and a blessing.


Read story on Richard's life and career

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