MURPHY joe (joe “40,000” MURPHY, known as )

? . chicago . usa

Joe “40,000” Murphy was born in Bridgeport, in a southern Chicago neighborhood. He grew up with his friend Andy Frain who created a prestigious service company for the organization of major sport and religious events. Joe Murphy became the bodyguard as well as the chief bailiff of the company. This function allowed him to meet countless personalities from the world of sports and entertainment. He is said to have received his nickname “40,000” from the frequently repeated answer to the following question: How many fans were in the stands to see Chicago baseball teams in the 1920s, a time when performance was poor? Murphy then always answered: 40,000 empty seats. Joe “40,000” Murphy photographed himself among all these stars sometimes using collage to change the reality of the encounter, to stage it as he pleased. He collected thousands of photos that filled up his apartment from floor to ceiling, sometimes cutting them to fit the shape of the staircase. He used to show his apartment like a museum. Unfortunately at his death it was emptied of these precious testimonies and almost all of these photos have disappeared.

In the photos gathered here we see Murphy alongside Jimmy Durante, Sonia Henie, Hugh O’Brien, Betty Hutton and Randy Jackson, a Chicago Cubs baseman.