John F. Murphy was born in 1948 in Massachusetts of Irish immigrant parents. He attended Catholic elementary and secondary schools.
On the college level, John Murphy continued his education at Boston State College from 1967 — 1969 and received a degree in Paralegal Studies from Bentley College in 1979.
John Murphy became a Teamster in 1969 when he was employed at a Boston beer distributorship. John Murphy served as shop steward there before being appointed an assistant business representative for Teamsters Local 122 in 1980 and thereafter held various positions on its Executive Board.
In 1985, Murphy was elected to the principal officer’s position (Secretary-Treasurer) of Teamsters Local 122. He has been re-elected every term since then to that position. In 1995, John Murphy was elected Vice President of the Massachusetts AFL/CIO and still holds that position. In 1998, he was elected Vice President of the Eastern Region of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters as part of James P. Hoffa’s slate. During General President Hoffa’ s first term, Murphy served as Director of Organizing. He is now Special Assistant to the General President for Special Projects as well as Vice President. The Special Projects position started his involvement in the merger process between the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees. In March, 2005, he was appointed Director of the Teamsters Rail Conference. Mr. Murphy was re-elected for the third time Vice President Eastern Region of the IBT in November 2011.