Dick Murphy, 33rd mayor of San Diego, 2000-2005, graduated from the University of Illinois and earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. After serving as a U.S. Army officer in the Pentagon and the White House, he became an attorney in San Diego. He was on the City Council, 1981-1985. In 1985, he was appointed a San Diego Municipal Court Judge and elevated to the San Diego Superior Court in 1989.
Murphy was elected mayor in a come-from-behind election in November 2000 and was reelected in 2004. His accomplishments include establishing San Diego’s first ethics commission, creating the San Diego River Conservancy, and building a new downtown ballpark for the San Diego Padres baseball team. During his second term, Murphy chose to resign amidst the chaos of the pension-fund crisis that was stressing city governments. He and wife Jan have been married for more than 40 years and have three children and two grandchildren.
What brings you to La Jolla?
I will be at Warwick’s 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6 for my new book “San Diego’s Judge Mayor: How Murphy’s Law Blindsided Leadership With 2020 Vision,” and I will be doing a presentation and book signing at La Jolla Country Day School at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5.
What is one of your favorite things about the La Jolla area?
That would be The Cove.
If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in the area?
I would add more park and open space to the La Jolla community.
Who or what inspires you?
If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?
My guest list would include George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, my wife and three children.
What are your five favorite movies of all time?
Star Wars Episode IV, Hoosiers, Sleepless in Seattle, The Graduate and Back to the Future
What is your most-prized possession?
My children: Brian, Shannon, and Kelly.
What do you do for fun?
I enjoy outdoor recreation with my wife at our Lake Tahoe cabin.
Describe your greatest accomplishment.
That would be being elected mayor of San Diego.
What is your motto or philosophy of life?
You need to be willing to take chances in life if you want to make a difference.
For more information on politics in San Diego, see the Best Bet “Tough Talk” on page B11. Political scientists Steven Erie (a professor at UCSD) and Vladimir Kogan will discuss their new book, “Paradise Plundered: Fiscal Crisis and Governance Failures in San Diego,” 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8 at D.G. Wills Books, 7461 Girard Ave.