Bob Murray, the board chairman of Murray Energy, the largest privately owned — and bankrupt — US coal operator, died on Sunday October 25 2020 at age 80. He had announced his retirement less than a week before.
Although no cause of death was officially given, Murray filed for black lung benefits — which he spent most of his career fighting. In the black lung claim, Murray stated he was heavily dependent on oxygen and was “near death,” Associated Press reported.
Murray Energy’s bankruptcy was a drain on the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund. As of November, Murray Energy had only contributed $1.1 million of the $155 million it owed to the fund.
Mr. Murray is a 50-year veteran of the coal industry. He received his Bachelor of Engineering in Mining degree from The Ohio State University and has completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Business.
During his 31-year tenure at The North American Coal Corporation, Mr. Murray held various supervisory, management, engineering, marketing and operating positions, culminating his service as Executive Vice President and President and Chief Operations Officer from 1983 to 1987, and President and CEO in 1987. Mr. Murray left North American in late 1987 to create his own independent coal mining companies.
Mr. Murray, a registered Professional Engineer and private pilot, is a member of the Boards of Directors of the National Mining Association, American Coal Foundation, National Coal Council, Ohio Coal Association, and Pennsylvania Coal Association, and is Past President and a Trustee of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc., and the Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, Inc., as well as Past President of The Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute, and other industry and civic organizations.