Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Fall/Winter 2012 (November 16, 2012)

Soft Snap: The World War II Letters of Don Murray

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November 16, 2012

Edited by Renee Heideman Murray’80 and Alyson Murray

Available as an eBook

When Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941, the late Donald A. Murray was teaching French and Spanish at Beloit College. But the Dartmouth and Harvard-educated professor answered the call of duty, enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942. He trained in cryptography, then worked in counterintelligence as a special agent through 1945. Over the course of three-and-a-half years of service, he wrote many letters to his pen pal Arlene Taylor, who would later become his wife.

Murray’s letters serve as a reminder that keenly observed and beautifully written letters can be an art form as well as a window into another time.

In addition to Murray’s long and successful teaching tenure at Beloit (1936-1976), Arlene Taylor Murray served as Beloit’s associate director of admissions from 1946-1982; the Murrays’ son, Cameron’80, sets the context for the letters in the book’s introduction to readers, and Renee Heideman Murray’80, a freelance writer and Don’s daughter-in-law, writes the foreword as one of the collection’s editors. Available exclusively as an eBook, including on

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