John Murdy Jr., State Senator in 1952-64, Dies


John A. Murdy Jr., 90, a former Republican state senator who worked diligently to preserve Orange County’s ground water supply, died at his home in Newport Beach Sunday.

As Orange County’s only state senator from 1952-64, Murdy concentrated heavily on water conservation and introduced legislation that helped create many of the county’s water projects.

“I think his proudest accomplishment was what he did to preserve the water supply for this county,” said John Murdy III, the former senator’s son. “His efforts are one of the reasons Orange County is in such great shape waterwise today.”


Murdy’s family moved to Orange County from South Dakota in 1905. John Murdy Jr. later bought ranch land in the area and became a dairy farmer.

Murdy retired from dairy farming in 1952, the same year he won his first race for public office. That same year, Murdy also became the founding president of Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach.

“He, along with several other men, were extremely instrumental in the founding of that hospital,” his son said. “That was also one of his proudest achievements.”

In addition to his son, Murdy is survived by two daughters, Maxine Trotter and Dorothy Miller, both of Tustin, and 14 grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held today at 4 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach.

The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Hoag Hospital.