About Dr. Murphy

Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall is named in recognition of Dr. John Benjamin Murphy – one of America’s preeminent pioneering surgeons through the turn of the last century who studied, interned and taught at Cook County Hospital.

Dr. John B. Murphy was born to Irish immigrant parents in Appleton, Wisconsin on December 21, 1857. He enrolled at Rush Medical College in Chicago in 1877; and interned at Cook County Hospital the same year. The world of medicine was evolving rapidly in Europe in the late 19th century. So in 1882, Dr. Murphy set off for Austria and Germany to study European medical breakthroughs. In 1884, upon his return to Illinois, Dr. Murphy’s skill in abdominal surgery won him the respect of his peers and he was appointed as a lecturer at Rush Medical College. In 1886, Dr. Murphy rose in national prominence during Chicago’s famous Haymarket Affair. During an immigrant labor rally in 1886, in Haymarket Square which devolved into a violent riot, Dr. Murphy worked emergency cases at Cook County Hospital while gaining great respect and national renown. In 1890, Dr. Murphy became Professor of Surgery at Rush Medical College; and similar academic positions at Northwestern Medical School, and the Graduate Medical School of Chicago. He also served as Surgeon-in-Chief at Chicago’s Mercy Hospital for over two decades where he attended ex-President Theodore Roosevelt in the aftermath of his attempted assassination in 1912. Dr. Murphy was a founder and leader of the American College of Surgeons which built the J.B. Murphy Memorial Building in Chicago in his honor. Dr. John Benjamin Murphy died on August 11, 1916.