For the New York politician, see William J. Murray (New York).

William J. Murray III (born May 1946) is an American author, Baptist minister, and social conservative lobbyist who currently serves as the chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition, a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C., active on issues related to aiding Christians in Islamic and Communist countries. The son of the late atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Murray played a significant part alongside his mother in the ending of mandatory prayer in public schools in 1963.


William J. Murray III was born in Ohio in 1946, the son of William J. Murray, Jr. and Madalyn Murray O'Hair, an atheist activist[2] who came to national attention in 1960 when she filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court of the United States, stating that compulsory prayer and reading of the Bible in public schools was unconstitutional. The Murrays' case, Murray v. Curlett, was ultimately folded into Abington School District v. Schempp, a landmark 1963 ruling which held mandatory Bible reading in public schools to be unconstitutional.

Throughout his life, Murray has worked in various industries in the private sector, including the airline industry.[3]

Murray became a Christian in 1980. Learning of his conversion, his mother commented: "One could call this a postnatal abortion on the part of a mother, I guess; I repudiate him entirely and completely for now and all times. He is beyond human forgiveness."[4] Madalyn, William's daughter Robin, and William's brother Jon Garth Murray were later kidnapped and murdered by former American Atheists employee David Roland Waters.[5]