He Became an Orphan at a Young Age
This might be understood by the fact that his father drifted in and out of the family’s life and ultimately deserted them. At age 11, Murphy became the man of the house. He ended up dropping out of school in the fifth grade and instead got a job picking cotton for a dollar a day (which would be $18 today) to help support the family.
At an early age, Murphy became skilled with a rifle, having hunted small game to help feed the family. His mother died of endocarditis and pneumonia in 1941, which meant Murphy became an orphan at the age of 16. When his mother died in 1942, Murphy as the oldest son was left to look after the younger children.