Pat Murphy, a San Francisco political reporter and rabble-rouser, died this week after a series of health complications including emphysema and cirrhosis.
Murphy was the founder and previous owner of the San Francisco Sentinel, an online information source for local and national politics and culture. He took over the publication in May of 1997 (then called the “District 9 Sentinel”) out of his “concern over the republican control of Congress.” Knowing that all politics is local, he covered San Francisco city hall and local politics to make sure that views from the left and libertarians were heard and celebrated.
Murphy worked as publisher, editor, and reporter at the paper for 10 years until he went into semi-retirement due to health problems in 2009.
Murphy began his career as a General Assignment reporter for the Richmond Independent, the Berkeley Daily Gazette, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He served as Managing Editor of the St. Albans (Vermont) Daily Messenger at age 21.
He also launched ValPak couponing in San Francisco, as the company’s first San Francisco franchise owner. He walked the bricks, developing ad strategy for a broad range of restaurants and merchants.
As Terence Alan, former board member of the North of Market Neighborhood Improvement Corporation once said, “Murphy is an excellent example of hands-on journalism in a changing delivery news market.”