William Francis Murphy was a Democratic politician and jurist from Michigan. He was named to the Supreme Court of the United States in 1940 after a political career that included stints as Governor of Michigan and Mayor of Detroit. He also served as the last Governor General of the Philippine Islands and the first High Commissioner of the Philippines.
Born in Huron County, Michigan, Murphy graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1914. After serving in the United States Army during World War I, Murphy served as a federal attorney and trial judge. He served as Mayor of Detroit from 1930 to 1933 before accepting appointment as Governor-General of the Philippine Islands. He defeated incumbent Republican Governor Frank Fitzgerald in Michigan's 1936 gubernatorial election and served a single term as Governor of Michigan. Murphy lost re-election to Fitzgerald in 1938 and accepted appointment as the United States Attorney General the following year.
In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Murphy to the Supreme Court to fill a vacancy caused by the death of Pierce Butler. Murphy served on the Court from 1940 until his death in 1949, and was succeeded by Tom C.