A former U.S. ambassador to Germany, the 59-year-old Phil Murphy is a retired Wall Street executive who grew up in a working-class family that “lived paycheck to paycheck,” as he has said in ads and on the campaign trail.
Murphy went to Harvard University, paying for it with part-time jobs and loans. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics and went on to get an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Murphy was hired by Goldman Sachs after graduating from Wharton in 1983 and spent 23 years there. Among his roles, Murphy headed a German office, was the firm’s president in Asia, was a global leader of the investment management division, and finally became a senior director.
Post-Wall Street, he chaired the New Jersey Benefits Task Force that in late 2005 made recommendations to deal with the state’s pension problems, which included raising the retirement age and selling publicly owned assets. He served as national finance chair of the Democratic National Committee from 2006 to 2009
Murphy served as U.S. ambassador to Germany, where he owns a home, between 2009 and 2013. He is principal of the business management consulting firm Murphy Endeavors LLC, based in Red Bank.He has been involved in several charitable and nonprofit organizations, and was on the board of the national NAACP until stepping down recently due to his gubernatorial candidacy.
Prior to announcing his candidacy last May, Murphy created two organizations that raised his profile in the state: New Start New Jersey, a progressive think tank chaired by his wife Tammy, and New Way for New Jersey, a political organization that ran ads in support of his ideas.
Although required public financial disclosure documents do not list his wealth, it is said to be considerable. According to information from his 2015 income tax return, which his campaign allowed reporters to look at earlier this year, he made almost $7.3 million that year. His disclosure form indicates he owns stock in hundreds of companies and holds a number of trusts and bonds.
The Murphys have four children and live in Middletown in Monmouth County.
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