Murphy was born and raised in St. John's,
Newfoundland, where he graduated from Memorial
University. A Rhodes scholar, he attended
Oxford University (along with U.S. President
Bill Clinton). When
he returned to Newfoundland he was soon
established as a quick-witted and accomplished
writer, broadcaster and teacher. His nightly
television tussles on the supper hour show Here and Now, with prominent politicians including Premier Joey Smallwood, became required viewing for a huge audience.
primary interest is in language and English
literature, but he also has a strong link
with politics. He is noted throughout Canada
for his biting comments on the political
scene. Murphy gained an insider's view
of the political world when he worked as
executive assistant to the Newfoundland Liberal Party leader. To
get an even closer taste of politics, Murphy ran twice as a Liberal
candidate in the provincial elections.
Murphy contributes extensively to CBC on many current affairs issues. For The National Magazine he
created a number of documentaries from Newfoundland,
including the highly acclaimed "Unpeopled Shores," about
the tragedy of the disappearing cod, and
human interest pieces on writer Annie Proulx,
World War II, and scientist Hubert Reeves.
He contributes a regular essay to The National Magazine, dealing with topics as diverse as the Royal Family, smoking, and Quebec politics and writes a weekly column for the Globe and Mail. Murphy is also the author of the book, Points of View, a collection of his best writing spanning 30 years. The selection includes an assortment of topics, from his hard-hitting political commentaries, book reviews, and hilarious satires, to warm memories of Newfoundland.
An award-winning broadcaster, Murphy is the regular host of CBC Radio's Cross Country Checkup and commentator on the CBC Radio show Definitely Not the Opera. He has also contributed to Morningside, Land and Sea, The Journal, Midday, and Sunday Report.
Murphy divides his
week between Toronto and Montreal with frequent
forays to St. John's.