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C. Thornton Murphy
Princeton Alumni Weekly

C. Thornton Murphy ’59
Published in Oct. 9, 2002, issue

Thornton Murphy died Oct. 12, 2001, of injuries sustained in a fall at his home in Batavia, Ill.

Thornton grew up in Oberlin, Ohio, and prepared for Princeton at Western Reserve Academy. At Princeton he played soccer, was vice president of the chapel choir, a keyceptor, and joined Cloister Inn. He earned a master's and a doctorate in high-energy physics at the U. of Wisconsin in 1963, and taught physics at the U. of Michigan and at Carnegie Mellon U. before moving to Fermilab, the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, in 1973. There he coordinated the installation of the superconducting accelerator, Tevatron, and one of Fermilab's two major colliding beam experiments. He also worked with the CERN Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, and Frascati, Italy.

Beyond the rigors of particle physics, Thornton lived a liberal-arts life, rich with travel, languages, the arts, and, especially, music. From the Princeton Glee Club, he progressed to become a semiprofessional singer of early music. Only days before his death, on the centennial of Enrico Fermi's birth, he led the Fermilab Singers in "Happy Birthday" in Italian.

The class extends its sympathy to Barbara, his wife of 43 years, and to his children, Elizabeth, Charles, Michael, and Stephen.
The Class of 1959