Gardner Murphy was born on 8 July 1895 in Chillicothe, Ohio, the son of Edgar Gardner Murphy, a southern reformer, and Maud King, an author. In 1916 he earned a BA from Yale and in 1917 an MA from Harvard. Murphy joined the Yale Hospital Unit of the US Army Expeditionary forces, and after being sent to France, he served as a second lieutenant in the Army Corps of Interpreters from 1918 to 1919. In 1919 Murphy returned to the United States to attend Columbia University, where he was greatly influenced by the psychology chairman Robert S. Woodworth, which led to Murphy's interest in social psychology. In 1923 he earned his PhD in psychology from Columbia.
From The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers in Oxford Reference.