University of Kentucky

Hall of Distinguished Alumni

Eger Vaughn Murphree

Born in Bayonne, New Jersey, on November 3, 1898. Business Executive. Government Official. University of Kentucky, B.S., 1920; M.S., 1921; Sc.D., 1949. Died, October 29, 1962.

He was President of the Esso Research and Engineering (section), Standard Oil Development Company. In 1950, he was named special assistant to the Secretary of Defense in directing the guided-missile program.

He was manager of development and research for the Standard Oil Development Company, 1934-37. He was named Vice President in 1937, and in 1940, Executive Vice President; in 1947, he became President. As an undergraduate at the University, he was captain of the 1920 Wildcat football team and was named All-Southern tackle.

During World War II, he was Chairman of the Planning Board and a member of the Office of Scientific Research and Development Commission which was instrumental in the development of the atomic bomb.

He was a recipient of the Perkin Medal awarded by the Society of Chemical Industry in 1950 for his work in applied chemistry. He also received the Industrial Research Institute Award in 1953.

The University awarded him the honorary Doctor of Science degree in 1949. He was a physics and mathematics instructor at Paris High School, 1921-22. He was then a staff assistant at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1922-23, becoming a research associate the following year. He was a chemical engineer for Solvay Process Company, Syracuse, New York, 1924-26, and Director of the company's chemical engineering division, 1926-30. He was Director of Jasco Inc., Standard Oil Company of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, 1930-34, and became Vice President and Director of Hydro Engineering and Chemical Company in 1934.

He was President of the permanent council of the World Petroleum Congress, 1951-59. Memberships also included the American Section, Society for the Chemical Industry; American Chemical Society; American Petroleum Institute; Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the American Institute of Physics. He wrote a number of articles for trade and technical journals, and held patents in his field.

Eger Vaughn Murphree was named to the Hall of Distinguished Alumni in February 1965.