Rick Murray, a newspaper reporter and columnist of 39 years who covered everything from politics to UFOs, is dead at age 58.
Murray died at Cooper University Hospital in Camden on Friday after suffering a heart attack, according to The Trentonian of Trenton, where Murray was a reporter since October.
On the day he died, Murray had a column in the newspaper about Congo, a German shepherd spared after attacking a Honduran landscaper, only to be euthanized a year later after another attack. Trentonian city editor Paul Mickle had placed a copy of the article in Murray’s office mailbox, writing, “GREAT JOB,” on it.
“It really hurt that I put it in his mailbox and he never got to see it,” Mickle said in a remembrance in Monday’s Trentonian.
Born and raised in Camden, Murray’s first newspaper job was in 1969 at the Record-Breeze newspaper in Lindenwold.
Over the years, Murray worked at The Press of Atlantic City and many other newspapers across New Jersey and in the Philadelphia metro area.
Murray was always proud about the columns he wrote about UFOs — which had a following among area followers of UFO stories.
His chief beat at The Trentonian was politics in the Trenton suburb of Hamilton Township.
“He wrote stories like no one else I ever knew. The way he expressed the written word was unique,” said Scott Frost, the features editor at The Trentonian.
Murray is survived by his two adult sons, Thomas Murray and Richard Murray III, and granddaughter Lily.