Murray Mendel Silver, Jr. was born in Savannah, GA, in 1953 -- a "Telfair baby" -- to Barbara Kahn and Murray Mendel Silver.
But the reason why many Savannahians of that era do not know Murray better is because his father moved the family to Atlanta by way of Jekyll Island in 1966, and he did not return to his hometown until 1998. Having missed Savannah with every beat of his heart, Murray's homecoming was long overdue and he's been trying to make up for it ever since by taking up where his family left off and involving himself at every level of local service and activity.
Murray's high school classmates in Atlanta remember him best as the 16-year-old concert promoter who booked shows at the Sports Arena on Sunday afternoons. In partnership with his father, Murray brought many future supergroups to town for the first time, including Fleetwood Mac, Grand Funk Railroad, Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers, Billy Preston, Sonny & Cher, Richard Harris, and others. While attending Georgia State University and Woodrow Wilson College of Law, Murray parlayed his contacts in the music industry into a career as a rock music journalist and tour photographer, covering the greatest acts of the Seventies, including Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Elton John, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Police, and many others. At the same time he was studying for the bar exam he began writing his first book, Great Balls of Fire: The Uncensored Story of Jerry Lee Lewis (Morrow, 1981), which was turned into the major motion picture of the same title, starring Dennis Quaid, Winona Ryder and Alec Baldwin (Orion, 1989). Thus, the son decided to continue his writing career rather than join his father's law firm, where he had clerked for ten years.
What an exciting time it was to have been his father's understudy: Murray's father was legal counsel to Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., Coretta Scott King, Andrew Young, and was a founding board member of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change (the King Center). Together Murray and his father promoted the first concerts to benefit the building of the King Center, and he grew up in the civil rights movement in ways that are unique. At such point that Mrs. King decided to hand over the job as CEO of the King Center to her son, Dexter, she tapped Murray Jr. to be Dexter's aide and speech writer.
Running for Mayor of Savannah in 2015 may be Murray's first run for public office, but it is not his first political rodeo. Murray volunteered to help Rev. Andrew Young when he left the pulpit in pursuit of the Georgia legislature in 1968 as a youth activist, and then participated-- as the son of Young's campaign finance chairman-- in raising funds for every campaign Young ran thereafter, including two terms as Mayor of Atlanta. Murray also worked in the central campaign headquarters during Carl Sanders' second run for Governor of Georgia, and, more importantly, has been involved in various City of Savannah and Chatham County campaigns at every level since 1990.
Murray's resume is a fascinating thing to read, as is his memoir. Not only has he written six books, he has also owned and operated three successful businesses, taught at two colleges, and served on a long list of boards of notable charities and non-profit organizations, most notably Lions Clubs International and Savannah Feed the Hungry. In 2000, he launched Bonaventure Books in Savannah, becoming the largest independent book publisher in the Low Country, with 20 active titles. His book, Behind the Moss Curtain and Other Great Savannah Stories, has been a local bestseller since 2002. He has traveled the nation as Savannah's Goodwill Ambassador speaking to tour operators and convention planners on behalf of Visit Savannah. When he isn't writing books or publishing others, Murray produces television shows about Savannah's haunted history for PBS, GPTV, Travel Channel and History Channel.