Pat graduated from Wahlert High School in 1977 and received his B.A. from Loras College in 1980 in speech communication with minors in political science and history. In addition to operating his own business, he has worked in various capacities at Mercy Health Center, CyCare Systems Inc. as a quality assurance analyst/document specialist, and Hillcrest Family Services as a youth care worker. He most recently served on the faculty at Northeast Iowa Community College.
Pat married Teri Ann Gulick in 1980. Teri is an emergency room nurse at Finley Hospital in Dubuque. They have four children, all of whom attended St. Joseph’s grade school in Dubuque: Jacob, John, Joe and Natalie. They attend St. Joseph’s the Worker Catholic Church in Dubuque. He also has six grandchildren.
Pat’s parents were active in many community organizations, including the St. Vincent DePaul Society, school lunch volunteering, city mission and the Communications Workers of America, of which his father was an officer.
Pat has been involved with local youth sports in Dubuque, assisting a youth basketball team and serving as a volunteer umpire in baseball and referee in soccer.
Pat was a member of the Dubuque Cable Commission when Dubuque became one of the first communities in the nation to offer 35 cable TV channels. He has led efforts in his workplaces to raise money for the United Way and has served as a Tiger Cub Scout volunteer.
Pat has been a state representative since winning a special election in 1989. He was the ranking Democratic member of the House Appropriations Committee from 1995-2003 and was elected Democratic leader in 2003. As leader of the House Democrats, he directed the 2004 legislative campaign that picked up three additional Democratic seats in the House and the 2006 legislative campaign that took back the majority with 54 Democratic seats. He was elected as Speaker of the Iowa House in January, 2007 and was re-elected as Speaker in 2008 after Democrats picked up another three seats.
Murphy serves on the Legislative Council and the House Administration & Rules Committee. In his eleven terms in the House, he has worked on numerous issues related to human services, health care, and appropriations.