Chicago, IL, August 18, 2010 – It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of recent and longtime Executive Director Clyde E. Murphy. We learned today that Mr. Murphy passed away suddenly at home on August 17, 2010. As the head of the public interest law consortium of Chicago’s leading law firms, Mr. Murphy led the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for 15 years through a period of expansion and the implementation of new programs, promoting and protecting the civil rights of the poor, minorities and the disadvantaged.
Betsy Shuman-Moore, Director of the Committee’s fair housing and bias violence projects said, “Clyde was a profoundly committed civil rights lawyer who fiercely championed for the poor, marginalized and victims of discrimination. Fairness and equal opportunity embodied his life’s work. Although he loved a righteous argument, he was a kind and gentle soul. We will miss his integrity, sense of justice, passion, and intelligence. ” Edward Feldman of Miller Shakman & Beem, LLP, who serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Lawyers Committee said, “we were deeply saddened to learn of Clyde’s sudden passing. The Death of Former Executive Director, Clyde E. Murphy Board appreciates the 15 years of leadership that Clyde provided. The civil rights community has lost a stalwart.”
Prior to his tenure with the Committee, Mr. Murphy served as a lawyer and executive for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a post he held for 19 years. At the Fund, Mr. Murphy developed an extensive federal civil rights practice, including trial, appellate, and U.S. Supreme Court litigation in the areas of employment discrimination, affirmative action, police misconduct and voting rights. From 1990-1995, Mr. Murphy was the Fund’s Deputy Director-Counsel and Director of its Voting Rights Project. Mr. Murphy's background in civil rights litigation and non-profit administration was complemented by his extensive experience as a lecturer on litigation for social change and legal analysis of civil rights issues. Mr. Murphy was a graduate of Yale University and received his law degree from Columbia University School of Law.
Mr. Murphy leaves his wife, Monica, a son, Jamal, and two daughters, Akua and Naima.