Franklin Murphy? It's not a name that is widely known; even during his lifetime the public knew little of him. But for nearly thirty years, Murphy was the dominant figure in the cultural development of Los Angeles. Behind the scenes, Murphy used his role as confidant, family friend, and advisor to the founders and scions of some of America's greatest fortunes—Ahmanson, Rockefeller, Ford, Mellon, and Annenberg—to direct the largesse of the wealthy into cultural institutions of his choosing. In this first full biography of Franklin D. Murphy (1916-994), Margaret Leslie Davis delivers the compelling story of how Murphy, as chancellor of UCLA and later as chief executive of the Times Mirror media empire, was able to influence academia, the media, and cultural foundations to reshape a fundamentally provincial city.
The Culture Broker brings to light the influence of L.A.'s powerful families and chronicles the mixed motives behind large public endeavors. Channeling more than one billion dollars into the city's arts and educational infrastructure, Franklin Murphy elevated Los Angeles to a vibrant world-class city positioned for its role in the new era of global trade and cross-cultural arts.
Margaret Leslie Davis is a California lawyer and is also the author of Dark Side of Fortune: Triumph and Scandal in the Life of Oil Tycoon Edward L. Doheny (UC Press, 1998) and Rivers in the Desert: William Mulholland and the Inventing of Los Angeles (1993), for which she won the Western Writers of America Golden Spur Award in nonfiction.