His was not an easy life though. He lost a son to drug addiction and a wife to cancer. He lost his sight in one, and then both eyes. Later, he was able to regain partial sight in one eye and he openly commented that he hoped his sight would outlast his heart which had given him problems as well.
On Sunday, August 16, 1998 he suffered cardiac arrest while watching television in his Brentwood home. Sadly, ironically, he had gotten his wish. But after 37 years with The Los Angeles Times he has left us with thousands of columns with which to remember him by. Here are a selected few dealing with horse-racing. I've also included the columns written when he lost sight in his "good" eye, when his first wife passed away, and his first column as well. I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I enjoyed researching them. I think you'll see just how special Mr. Murray was.
Thanks Jim. You'll most definitely be missed.
In This Corner, With The Pen, Is The New Guy-February 12, 1961
His first column at the Los Angeles Times.
If You're Expecting One-Liners, Wait, A Column-July 1, 1979
This is the column on the loss of sight in one eye.
She Took The Magic And Happy Summer With Her-April 3, 1984
On the death of his first wife, Gerry.
Sold On A Free House With A Pacific View-August 16, 1998
His final column. On Free House's win in The Pacific Classic.
Not Just Another Tale Of Whoa-April 16, 1998
On the trials and tribulations of Coronado's Quest.
He Wasn't Smooth, But He Was Silky-April 2, 1998
Who else, but Silky Sullivan.
Optimistic Trainer Lives Charmed Life-December 25, 1997
On Bob Baffert.
It's Been Quite A Ride-October 2, 1997
On Chris McCarron.
Runaway For Skip Away-November 9,1997
On the '97 Breeders' Cup.
Once Again, This Is No Place For A Lady-March 3, 1996
Serena's Song's Santa Anita Derby.
Don't Bet The House On This Old Kentucky Home-May 2, 1995
Jim's Tips For A Winning Derby Day-1995
Photo courtesy of The Los Angeles Times® 1998
Columns courtesy of The Los Angeles Times® 1961-1998
To Brad's BIG Race Analysis