When he was old enough, Victor Murdock was put to work in the pressroom, setting type and inking the handpress. By the age of 29, he was the Wichita Eagle’s managing editor. A gifted reporter, he is credited with having written more than 3.5 million words for The Eagle during his career.
In 1890, Murdock married Pearl Allen. The couple had two daughters— Marcia Murdock Delano and Katherine Murdock Fleeson
In 1903, Murdock went to Washington D.C., serving six terms in Congress and later on to the Federal Trade Commission as the appointee of Woodrow Wilson. He returned to Wichita in 1924, taking editorial charge of The Eagle once more. He remained as editor-in-chief until his death in 1945.
During his lifetime, he enjoyed a nation-wide reputation as a writer, speaker and public figure. First and foremost, he considered himself a writer. In a career covering 60 years, which took him to all parts of the world, he was the ultimate reporter— at home, in police court, and the halls of Congress.
Murdock’s good fortune and talents brought him many opportunities for travel and to witness history in the making. He witnessed an early flight of the Wright Brothers in Washington D.C., sent war dispatches from London in World War I as German Zeppelins raided the city, and helped form the Bull Moose party to nominate Theodore Roosevelt for president.
Murdock, like his father, was captivated by the spirit of Wichita. He was happiest at home in Kansas. He watched with interest as Wichita grew, attracting numerous oil & gas and aviation businesses and new office buildings to its skyline. He delighted in meeting and interviewing local people, exploring their backgrounds and hearing their stories. He never tired of road trips to inspect the wheat harvest in Kansas and Oklahoma, and was a tireless advocate for the prairie. This deep affection for Wichita and its people is reflected in the spirit of philanthropy guiding the Victor Murdock Fund.
The Fund was established in 2000 to honor Wichita Eagle founder and long-time Wichitan, Victor Murdock. His grandson, the late Victor Delano, said he started the fund “to honor my grandparents, and pay back a city that has been good to me.”