W. Beverly Murphy, a life member emeritus of the MIT Corporation and former president and chief executive officer of the Campbell Soup Company, died May 29 at the age of 86.
Mr. Murphy, of Gladwyne, PA, died of pneumonia in a convalescent home in Bryn Mawr, PA.
Mr. Murphy was a special term member of the Corporation from 1961-65 and a life member from 1965-82. He served on several MIT standing committees, including the Auditing Committee (1984-86), the Executive Committee (1966-72 and 1976-82), and the Membership Committee (1964-67). He was a member of the visiting committees for the Department of Applied Biological Sciences (1985-88), the Department of Nutrition and Food Science (1980-85 and 1974-80 as chairman), the Sloan School of Management (1972-76 and 1965-66, and 1964-65 as chairman), and the School of Industrial Management (1961-63, 1963-64 as chairman and 1959-61 as a presidential nominee).
In 1980, former president and chairman of the Corporation Paul Gray presented Mr. Murphy with the Henry Laurence Gantt Memorial Medal. It is awarded jointly by the American Management Associations and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for "distinguished achievement in management as a service to the community."
Mr. Murphy was born in Appleton, WI, and received the BS in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin in 1928. He subsequently joined the A.C. Nielsen Company of Chicago and rose to the position of executive vice president. He was elected executive vice president of Campbell Soup in 1949 and was president and CEO from 1953 to 1972.
In addition to serving on several government advisory panels, Mr. Murphy was a director of companies including AT&T, Merck & Co., Inc., and the International Paper Co. He also served as national chairman of Radio Free Europe in 1960-61 and as chairman of the board of trustees of the Nutrition Foundation in 1964-65.
His wife of 63 years, Helen Brennan Murphy, died in January. He is survived by a daughter; three sons; 14 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren.
A version of this article appeared in the June 15, 1994 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 38, Number 36).