Former Mayor Patrick Ó. Murphy was the fifth generation of Murphys to call Lowell home. He is the son of longtime Lowell Public Schools teachers Joan and Dan Murphy, who taught many thousands of students over a combined 70 years of service, including at the Rogers School and Lowell High School respectively. Patrick is also the proud grandson of Grace and the late William Bovitz, an iron ore miner who later became an engineer and inventor, and of the late Helen (O’Connor), a hard-working “mill girl”, and George B. Murphy, a former Lowell city councilor and state representative. He is married to Allegra Williams. They have two sons, Óisín and Tecumseh Murphy.
With his twin brother Daniel, Patrick trained for several years as an amateur boxer at Ramalho’s West End Gym on Lawrence Street. His sister, Gráinne, is a well-known Irish fiddler and attorney in Dublin, Ireland. Following his sister and with his brother, Patrick graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover on a four-year scholarship. He has worked throughout the Merrimack Valley since the age of sixteen with cousins Dan O’Connor and Joe Donlan as a brick- and stone masonry contractor. Patrick graduated summa cum laude from Boston University with a degree in Urban Affairs.
In the fall of 2009, Patrick won an upset to fill a City Council seat once held by his grandfather over half a century before. Outspent by his colleagues because of his refusal to take donations, Murphy relied upon a relentless campaign style, taking his thoughtful message door to door to thousands of homes.
Armed with a number of ideas on how to improve the city, Patrick began making motions on his first day in office that would lead to significant positive changes in the community. Whether it was his call for a Sustainability Plan, a LowellStat program, Performance-Based Budgeting, or any number of other initiatives including investing in local banks, Patrick has been a major catalyst for change in the city’s operations.
After being re-elected to a second term on the Council, Patrick was elected by his colleagues as the city’s youngest mayor ever, and the youngest currently serving mayor of any American city with over 100,000 residents.