Fresh out of Williams College, Richard Murphy landed a job as an editor with the Literary Digest, which promptly folded after predicting that Alf Landon would win the 1936 presidential election. After freelancing for a few years, Murphy began writing for films in 1941. Among his more prestigious assignments were his Oscar-nominated screenplays for Boomerang (1947) and The Desert Rats (1953). He turned director on two occasions, helming his own scripts for Three Stripes in the Sun (1956) and Wackiest Ship in the Army (1960). In 1967, he created the TV-cop series Felony Squad. Richard Murphy's last screenwriting credit was the made-for-TV movie The Kidnapping of the President (1980).