One four-letter word brings to light the success of Cecil Murphey, bestselling author, speaker, teacher, and man of many words: pain.


Many believe great writers share a common bond — a difficult childhood. Ask author Cecil Murphey to talk about when he was a boy, he’ll say, “I was never a child. I grew up taking care of my parents.”


Cecil Murphey is the son of an abusive alcoholic father. Tracing his family history reveals alcoholism in his grandfather, great-grandfather, paternal uncles, and his own brothers. Cec’s father and three brothers died of alcoholism.


By the grace of God, Cec’s life followed a different path. Touched by the deaths of those closest to him, Cec wrote, When Someone You Love Abuses Drugs or Alcohol. The book offers hope to those whose loved ones are trapped in addiction.


A small-framed man with an enormous heart and mind, Cec has written or co-authored more than 100 books, including Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story; Rebel with a Cause (Franklin Graham); I Choose to Stay (Salome Thomas-El); 90 Minutes in Heaven (Don Piper), and Touchdown Alexander (Shaun Alexander). His uncanny ability to write another person’s story is infinite. Give him some time and a tape recorder, and this master chameleon of endless empathy becomes the other person. Folks open up and talk. They just plain trust him.


Cec and his wife, Shirley, served as missionaries in Kenya for six years. He was a pastor for ten years, and has volunteered as a hospital chaplain for more than a decade. The Kenyans nicknamed him “Haraka” which translates “fast.” To walk alongside Cec means a brisk jog. It seems he possesses the ability to outrun age. He runs 30 miles a week and could still fit into his high school blue jeans. Not particularly fashion conscious, he’d still wear them.


A chat with Cec Murphey is a lot like a rigorous-but-satisfying tennis match. He’s an incredible listener but get ready for a verbal workout. His smile flashes unexpectedly as though your picture’s being snapped by paparazzi. Speedy, determined, and in fantastic physical shape, he might have made it as a tennis star, but he’s never had time for sports. Instead, he’s become a phenomenal writer, teacher, speaker, and above all — a giver.


Married for 51years to Shirley, a soft-spoken top-notch editor, the couple has three children, eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. She surprised Cec with a pair of black leather pants for his seventieth birthday. Shirley remains his steadfast cheerleader and allows her husband the spotlight. A breast cancer survivor, she’s the epitome of “still water runs deep.”


Cec’s wisdom, humor, and gut-level honesty captures audiences of thousands as well as the terrified beginning writer who desperately needs to hear, “Keep writing. I believe in you.”  He’s a keynote speaker who’s never had a bad-hair day, not that he’s into looks. His curly hair, dark at one time, has turned subtle gray, adding to his distinction.  With Cherokee Indian cheekbones, and coal-black eyes, the lean, hungry-looking man draws attention wherever he goes. But Cec focuses on those who need him and serves where he can make a difference, including caregiving awareness efforts.