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Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr. papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0405
Francis D. Murnaghan Jr. (1920–2000) was a United States federal judge based in Baltimore, Maryland. This collection consists of materials dating from 1946 to 2000, including appellate briefs authored while a practicing attorney, judicial decision files, papers reflecting his role of a Trustee of both the Johns Hopkins University and The Walters Art Gallery, appointment books, and a limited amount of personal correspondence.

Dates

  • 1946-2000

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Contact Special Collections for more information.

This collection is open for use. Case files are generally open for access but may contain restricted materials, such as materials containing personally identifiable information and "sealed" records with further restrictions, and therefore must be reviewed by a staff member before access is provided.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Extent

17.71 Cubic Feet (14 record center cartons, 1 cardfile box (12.5 x 6.5 x 4.5 inches))

Biographical / Historical

Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr. was born in Baltimore on June 20, 1920. Murnaghan graduated from Baltimore City College in 1937 and went on to college at Harvard. After his freshman year he transferred to Johns Hopkins from which he graduated. While at Hopkins Murnaghan played on a national championship winning lacrosse team and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors in 1941.

After his graduation, Murnaghan enlisted in the United States Navy and was assigned to a classified intelligence unit tasked with cracking Japanese codes, despite his preference for being placed in active duty. His brief military career was illustrious. Murnaghan was promoted to the rank of a commissioned officer and decorated several times.

His uncle, James Murnaghan, an Irish Supreme Court Justice, was a strong influence on his life and encouraged his interests in art and law. After World War II, Murnaghan entered Harvard Law School, graduating in 1948. His first position post-law school position was as an associate with the Philadelphia law firm of Barnes, Dechart, Price, Smith and Clark. In 1949 he married Jane Hughes. After two years he left to work for Robert Bowie, the General Counsel to John J. McCloy, the High Commissioner of the American Zone in Germany where he was a member of a team who administered the I.G. Farben Company.

Murnaghan became an associate at Venable, Baetjer, and Howard in1952 but took an immediate leave of absence to become Assistant Attorney General for the State of Maryland Comptroller's Office. Murnaghan returned to Venable, Baetjer & Howard in 1954. While at the firm he specialized in litigation and became a legal expert in libel and slander. In 1957 he was made a partner and remained at Venable, Baejter, & Howard for 22 years.

Murnaghan was also active in the local civic community during this time. He chaired the Baltimore Charter Revision Commission in 1963 and 1964 and also served as president of the Baltimore School Board from 1967 to 1970. Judge Murnaghan had a passion for art and collected Irish art. He was a trustee of the Walters Art Gallery, the Peabody Institute, and the Johns Hopkins University.

Francis Murnaghan, Jr. was a leading member of the Maryland Democratic Party. He chaired Senator Paul Sarbanes Senate election campaign in 1976 and Governor Harry Hughes vice- chairman in his first campaign for the governorship. In 1979 President Jimmy Carter appointed Murnaghan to the United States Court of Appeals of the Fourth Circuit. As a federal court of appeals judge, Judge Murnaghan was politically liberal-leaning and was often a dissenting voice on the court.

In 1984, divorced from Jane Hughes since 1972, Judge Murnaghan married Diana Lee Edwards. Judge Murnaghan died in 2000.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of materials dating from 1946 to 2000, including appellate briefs authored while a practicing attorney, judicial decision files, papers reflecting his role of a Trustee of both the Johns Hopkins University and The Walters Art Gallery, appointment books, and a limited amount of personal correspondence.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

In March of 2001, Mrs. Diana Murnaghan gave the Johns Hopkins University some of the personal and professional papers of her late husband, Judge Francis Murnaghan. These papers were transferred from the judicial chambers of Judge Murnaghan in Baltimore. Mrs. Murnaghan conveyed the gift to the University through the instrument of a deed of gift agreement.

Related Materials

The papers of Francis Dominic Murnaghan Jr's father, the Johns Hopkins mathematician Francis Dominic Murnaghan, are also located in Special Collections (MS.0107).

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Jennifer Rallo in July 30, 2008.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA