Our acclaimed photo editor, Richard Murphy, has decided to retire from the daily newspaper business. For the last 26 years Richard has been a pillar of the Daily News and an active participant in virtually every bit of important journalism we've done in that time. I believe I hired Richard and certainly worked closely with him for all those years. He''s a master of the craft and I have learned a great deal about photojournalism from him.
Richard came to the paper in 1985 at the height of our 13-year-long newspaper war with The Anchorage Times. He was fresh from a weekly newspaper war in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We were a black-and-white newspaper back then, with a photo department that produced dripping wet prints from one of the grimier and more cramped darkrooms on the planet. He supervised the design and construction of then-state-of-the-art color and black & white darkooms in our current building, and then oversaw their decommissioning and the transition to digital photography and multimedia online.
He began his career as an iconoclast, using a 35mm camera rather than the 4x5 Speed Graphic favored by his colleagues at the Holyoke (Mass) Transcript-Telegram. He still bears a slight scar on his forearm from a splash of hot lead from one of the old Linotype machines (a consequence of being somewhere he shouldn't have been). Richard has been a Pulitzer Prize winner, a finalist and a juror. He has led our photo staff to many, many awards, and was himself selected as the best newspaper photo editor in the country.
I think Richard would say that one of the greatest career accomplishments is the roster of fine photographers he has mentored and the photo department he will leave behind at the Daily News.
Richard is an avid outdoorsman and will pursue those passions while also working on his own photography projects.
We'll miss him.