John M. Murphy, a Democrat and decorated Korean War veteran who represented Staten Island in the U.S. House of Representatives for nine terms before being entangled in the Abscam corruption scandal in the late 1970s, died May 25 at a hospital on Staten Island. He was 88.
The cause was a heart attack, said his son John Murphy Jr.
Mr. Murphy served in Congress from 1963 to 1981 and was one of about half a dozen members of Congress convicted of taking illicit cash payments in the Abscam sting operation. They were caught on videotape taking bribes from FBI agents posing as Arab businessmen in exchange for legislative favors.
Mr. Murphy, who accepted a $50,000 bribe, was convicted of conspiracy and receiving an unlawful gratuity. He was acquitted of bribery and served less than two years in prison.
During 18 years in Congress, Mr. Murphy sponsored civil rights and voting rights legislation and opposed abortion and gay rights. He also worked on legislation that transferred control of the Panama Canal from the United States to Panama.
John Michael Murphy was born on Staten Island on Aug. 3, 1926. A West Point graduate, he served in Korea as platoon leader, company commander and intelligence officer. His decorations included the Distinguished Service Cross — the second-highest honor given to a member of the Army — and the Bronze Star Medal.
He was defeated when he ran for a 10th term in Congress, losing to Republican Guy Molinari.
A complete list of survivors was not immediately available.