“He’s rich, so we call him eccentric,” one doctor says, “if he were poor, we’d call him crazy.”
Dr. Richard D. Murray, was born on December 25, 1921, in Youngstown, Ohio. A brilliant plastic surgeon, he holds degrees from the University if Notre Dame, Georgetown University, and University of Pennsylvania.
An extensive traveler, he spent has spent part of his time abroad lecturing on plastic surgery. Several months of his time in the last few years have been donated to working on refugees from Communist China at the Hospital of Our Lady of Maryknoll, in Hong Kong.
For many years he was the only surgeon between Pittsburgh and Chicago who did the sex-change surgery, and he was much in demand, lecturing on the procedure. When he performed his first sex-change surgery, he neglected to tell some of the staff the nature of the operation. Some nurses were so shocked they walked out of the operating room. One refused to speak to him for months. Murray wrote a paper justifying the operation, on humanitarian grounds, for individuals born with a genetic imbalance that puts there physical body at odds with their sexual identity.
In addition to his medical work, he is a gifted artist, sculptor, and author. His art and writing is prophetic and many of his pieces are part of private and public collections. As a patron of the Arts, he has been President of the Youngstown Symphony Society, and of the Ballet Guild of Youngstown. In 1966, he received the Frank Purnell Award as Youngstown’s most outstanding citizen.
“Often contented by enjoying classical music at his home, alone. the stereo on full volume fills the vast marble hallways with a richness of sound. There is a heavy scent of slightly fading lilies; a friend brings the flowers once a week, leftover from a funeral home.In the drawing room where Dr. Murray sits, the air is chilly, slightly dank and drafty. He has tried adding insulation and resetting the thermostats, but it doesn’t help, the room remains cold. Could it be evil spirits? Dr. Murray finds the notion preposterous, that spirits who visit would resort to such a cliched expression of their presence. Dr. Murray, who has spent thirty years making his presence known, expects more imaginative measures from any spirits who might be along for the ride.”
The Chinese dragon is easily recognizable for its long serpentine body that is generally wingless, and its anthropomorphic face, complete with beard. In some eastern cultures, the dragon plays an integral part in creation mythology. Generally, the oriental dragon is benevolent and powerful, bringer of good fortune. Its image was often adopted by emperors as a sacred symbol of power. Thus, the oriental dragon is generally considered a supernatural or spiritual symbol of heavenly power.
The number nine is considered lucky in China and Chinese dragons are frequently connected with it. For example, a Chinese dragon is often described in terms of nine attributes and usually has 117 scales—81 (9×9) male and 36 (9×4) female. This is also why there are nine forms of the dragon and the dragon has nine children. The “Nine Dragon Wall” is a screen wall with images of nine different dragons, and is found in imperial palaces and gardens. As nine was considered the number of the emperor, only the most senior officials were allowed to wear nine dragons on their robes—and then only with the robe completely covered with surcoats. Lower-ranking officials had eight or five dragons on their robes, again covered with surcoats; even the emperor himself wore his dragon robe with one of its nine dragons hidden from view.