Thomas A. Murphy, former chairman of General Motors, has died at the age of 90. In a career path that's almost unheard of today, Murphy started at GM as a clerk in 1938, working his way up through the ranks to the top spot, which he held for nine years starting in 1974.

His stance on labor during the '70s was extreme, but that doesn't stop former UAW president Douglas Fraser from calling Murphy a compassionate man who cared about Detroit. In fact, Murphy's commitment to the community resulted in a multi-million dollar rehabilitation of Detroit's New Center area, which today bustles with activity from Wayne State University, the Detroit Public Library, the Detroit Institute for the Arts and other cultural institutions.

Murphy was also famous for his stance on the government's bailout of Chrylser -- according to Murphy, failing companies should be left to fail.


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