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Audie Murphy

Audie Leon Murphy was the United States' most decorated combat soldier of World War II. He later became an actor and songwriter.

From an original family of 12 children, Audie Murphy was born into abject poverty. His father abandoned the family and his mother died when he was seventeen leaving him and five younger siblings still at home. He grew up in the rural area of Farmersville and later Greenville, Texas. Desperately needing money, he joined the United States Army in order to earn enough to help support his family.

Although only 5'5" tall, Audie Murphy fought in World War II with such courage that he received every decoration for valor that the United States had to offer plus another five decorations were presented to him by Belgium and France. After the war, his photo appeared on the cover of Life magazine and his 1949 autobiography To Hell and Back became a national bestseller. He was signed by Universal Studios where he would star in more than 27 films. The 1955 film,To Hell and Back, based on his book, held the record as Universal's highest-grossing motion picture until 1975 when it was surpassed by Steven Spielberg's Jaws.

In addition to motion pictures, Murphy also became successful as a country music songwriter. However, in spite of his fame and fortune, the trauma of war affected him a great deal and he suffered considerably with what today is known to be post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and had a difficult life, suffering from a number of addictions, depression, and insomnia.

Audie Murphy died in 1971 when the private plane he was flying in crashed in heavy fog, near Roanoke, Virginia. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

In 1996 the Texas Legislature officially declared his birthdate, June 20, as Audie Murphy Day. In 1999, Governor George W. Bush, also made the same proclation declaring June 20 to officially be Audie Murphy Day in the state of Texas.

In the year 2000, Audie Murphy was further honored with his portrait on the 33 cent United States postage stamp.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Audie Murphy Facts

Birth NameAudie Leon Murphy
BirthdayJune 20, 1924
BirthplaceKingston, Texas, USA
Date of deathMay 28, 1971 (age 46)
Height5' 5" (1m65)  How tall is Audie Murphy compared to you?

Selected Filmography

No Name on the Bullet
4 Movie Marathon: James Stewart Western Collection
Column South
To Hell and Back
War, 10-Movie Collection: The Eagle and The Hawk / The Last Outpost / Bengal Brigad / Jet Pilot / Ulzana's Raid / To Hell and Back / In Enemy Country / Raid on Rommel / Battle Hymn / Wake Island
Classic Westerns, 10-Movie Collection: When Daltons Rode / The Virginian / Whispering Smith / The Spoilers / Comanche Territory / Sierra / Kansas Raiders / Tomahawk / Albuquerque / Texas Rangers Ride Again
The Unforgiven
4 Movie Marathon: Classic War Collection
Hell Bent For Leather
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