Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares

Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares

By Frank Murphy; Richard Walz (Illustrator)

Random House Children's Books, Paperback, 9780375806216, 48pp.

Publication Date: February 20, 1996


A funny, entertaining introduction to Ben Franklin and his many inventions, including the story of how he created the "magic square." A magic square is a box of nine numbers arranged so that any line of three numbers adds up to the same number, including on the diagonal! Teachers and kids will love finding out about this popular teaching tool that is still used in elementary schools today!

About the Author
Frank Murphy was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in June of 1938. He was raised and lived in West Springfield, Massachusetts until he joined the Marine Corps on his 17th birthday in June of 1955. His nine years in the Corps took him to such exotic places as Japan, Okinawa, Korea, Taiwan, The Philippines, Guam, Hawaii, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba and at sea in several ships.

Frank returned to New England and worked for Pratt and Whitney's overhaul and repair facility in Southington, Connecticut. He left there after two years and worked at General Dynamics Electric Boat Division in Groton, Connecticut refitting submarines. In December of 1968, Frank started work as a lineman with Southern New England Telephone Company. He transferred to Southern Bell, now Bell South, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida as a lineman in 1970. He moved into the Installation and Repair department, PBX Repair and retired as a Digital Technician in Special Services during the summer of 2000.

Frank attended Fort Lauderdale Business College for three years majoring in management. He dropped out to spend more time with his three young sons, planning to return when the boys were grown up. Frank also took many Bell South courses and attended schools in electronics and associated fields to enhance his work skills in the telecommunication field. He was divorced in 1995 after 27 years of marriage. Frank remarried in 1999 to the former Susan Fischer.

Frank started playing Judo in Japan in 1959. He competed in the All Marine Corps Judo Championships held at Parris Island in 1963. He continued playing and teaching until he was injured in a serious motorcycle accident. He lifted weights, snow skied and randaily until recently because of trouble with his knees. He also played volleyball and pick-up baseball games. However, he still target shoots.

Frank enjoys tropical landscaping, gardening and growing orchids. Reading and collecting books is another one of his pleasures. When the house is empty, he'll put on some of his favorite classical CDs.

This book is Frank's first published work. He has been interested in writing since a youngster and has written an unpublished novel concerning the drug trade in South Florida. He wrote another unpublished book outlining his experience with a psychologist while going though his divorced.

Frank is a member of the Marine Corps League Detachment Tamarac 755 and has been involved with veteran affairs over the years.

Richard "Dick" Walz graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. He has illustrated sixty-three books and has contributed to many others. He has often drawn licensed characters. Recently he's contributed several books to Random House's "Step Into Reading" series. Dick has always had an affection for railroads, so he's enjoyed painting several trains for Just Fine the Way They Are.