Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy


marymurphyMy mother made me do it!

Yes, it was really my mom–also a Mary–who gave me the idea to become a TV news reporter, when I was 13 years old and growing up in Queens, a student at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in Queens Village.  It took a while, though, to put my plans into action.

As a kid, we did musicals on 220th Street, where we lived.  In one play, I portrayed Liesl from “The Sound of Music” in my friend’s backyard.

Let me tell you about my mom and dad.  My father, James Murphy, was born in County Mayo, Ireland and emigrated to the United States on a ship across the Atlantic.  He worked as a city bus driver for 30 years.

My mother, Mary, was born a Murphy and married a Murphy.  She hails from County Galway, Ireland and met my father in Rockaway Beach, Queens.  They had four children in four years.  I’m the oldest, followed by my brother, Jim, and my sisters, Nora and Celia.

I attended Delehanty High School in Jamaica, Queens and then Queens College in Flushing, where I studied hard and graduated magna cum laude.  After a series of interviews, I secured an internship at WCBS-TV in New York and that was my entry into the news business.

I’ve been working in New York television for three decades–my entire career–covering events that have shaped our lives since the 1980′s, and I still retain a passion for my job. My work has been recognized with 21 Emmy Awards and I never lose sight of the fact that it is a privilege to report on history as it happens.

There were dangerous police raids during the crack cocaine epidemic in the 80′s, the trial of “Dapper Don”, John Gotti, in 1992–and the FIRST bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993.  I did hours of “live” reporting when that happened, and I interviewed one vibrant man named Vito DeLeo, who had crawled out of the rubble next to the parking garage, where the truck bomb was parked.  I am sad to say that Vito did not survive the second attack on the Twin Towers on September 11th, 2001.

I got my start at PIX 11 as a reporter in the 1980′s–and after seven years with WCBS–I came home to PIX 11 in 1993, where I remain to this very day.  PIX 11 has given me many opportunities as a journalist, assigning me to anchor the news for a number of years, produce mini-documentaries, and participate in big news stories.

In 1995, while six months pregnant with my son, I covered the visit of Pope John Paul II to New Jersey and New York.  That was a special thrill.  The Holy Father even tapped my microphone at Newark Airport!

Then, in 2008, I reported on the trip Pope Benedict XVI made to New York, covering his Mass at Yankee Stadium.

In 2006. shortly before the fifth anniversary of 9/11, I visited a field in County Cork, Ireland, where an Irish-born nurse planted 343 trees in honor of the firefighters who gave their lives responding to the terror attacks.

The FDNY and NYPD have been a big part of my career, since I’ve told the stories of many heroes who gave their lives in the line of duty in the last thirty years.

In early 2012, I was honored to get an international assignment from PIX 11.  My colleague, Dan Mannarino, and I traveled to Rome to cover the elevation of New York’s Archbishop, Timothy Michael Dolan, to Cardinal.  We worked many long hours, but it was an incredible venue to be reporting from.

Keith Lopez, one of our PIX 11 photographers, gave me a compliment recently, when we were covering the devastation caused by super storm, Sandy, on Long Island.  He said I reinforced for him the importance of humanizing a news story.  He’s right.  It’s crucial to humanize a story.  Stories are about people–their struggles and their triumphs–and best told by the voices of the people we meet, instead of too much narration from us.

I’m pleased to say that I’ve developed interests outside of TV news, as the years have gone by.

I’ve always loved movies, and I run to see the latest films, whenever I get the opportunity.

And twenty years into my adulthood, I started taking tennis lessons.  The lessons evolved into my participation on a ladies’ doubles team in my community.  I love it!  In 2012, our team won first place in the North Shore Women’s Tennis League, in our division.  It was not an easy feat, because we had to earn more points that 19, other teams.

It was a joyful moment for me–and my teammates–after a three-month season.

Life is not easy, and we all go through tough times.  But I savor the achievements and happy moments–big and small.  I am grateful for the journey I’ve been on and the incredible events I’ve witnessed.   I thank the viewers who have watched my stories all these years and hope you keep watching!

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