William Parry Murphy (Stoughton (Wisconsin) 6 February 1892 – Brookline (Massachusetts), 9 October 1987) was an American physician who in the 1934 Nobel Prize in Physiology or medicine got together with George Minot and George Hoyt Whipple for their work in devising and treating macrocytic anemia (anemia).
Francis Murphy was the son of the Reverend Thomas Francis Murphy congregationale and his wife Rose Anna Parry. He was educated in Wisconsin and Oregon and received his Bachelor's degree in 1914 to the University of Oregon. For two years he taught mathematics and physics at a high school before joining the University of Oregon Medical School in Portland entered. Here he was also working as a laboratory assistant in the pathology department. He also studied in Chicago and the Harvard Medical School in Boston, where he graduated with a Master's degree in 1922. Later (1935), he was an Assistant-physician at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and Professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School (1924-1958).
Murphy married Pearl in 1919, Harriet Adams, a descendant of u.s. president John Adams and was the first female dentist in Massachusetts. They had a son and a daughter. Their daughter Priscilla had a great fondness for aviation and died at sixteen when she piloted a plane that they crashed. Their son William p. Murphy Jr. later went to work as a researcher/developer in the medicine.
In 1924 they drew heavily on Murphy to let dogs get anemia, and fed them with different fabrics and measured their improvement. He discovered that eating large amounts of liver seemed to fix it. Minot and Whipple were trying to isolate the healing ingredient to this chemical and eventually succeeded in isolating a "antipernicieuze factor". It was not until 1948 was the actual active ingredient isolated: vitamin B12.