Photo: Gasper Tringale
Cullen Murphy is the editor at large of The Atlantic magazine, where from 1985 until 2006 he served as managing editor. From 2006 until 2018 he was editor at large of Vanity Fair. For 25 years he wrote the comic strip Prince Valiant, which was drawn by his father, the illustrator John Cullen Murphy. He has also written a number of books, among them Rubbish! The Archaeology of Garbage (HarperCollins, 1992), with co-author William L. Rathje; the essay collection Just Curious (Houghton Mifflin, 1995); The Word According to Eve: Women and the Bible in Ancient Times and Our Own (Houghton Mifflin, 1998); Are We Rome?: The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America (Houghton Mifflin, 2007); and God's Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World (Houghton Mifflin, 2012). His most recent book, Cartoon County: My Father and His Friends in the Golden Age of Make-Believe (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), was published in 2017. Murphy is a former member of the board of governors of the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Emily Dickinson Museum, and the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, and was the chair of the board of trustees of Amherst College from 2012 until 2018. He lives in Massachusetts.