Murray Rose – Remembering the Man
“The mark of a great champion is not just how fast they swim in the pool, but it’s how they handle everything else in their life. “
Murray and I were close friends for the past forty-seven years.
We met in Los Angeles in 1965. Murray was twenty-six and the world’s greatest long-distance swimmer. He had recently graduated from USC and was living in Hollywood doing sports television coverage and interviews and auditioning for movie parts. (A year later he got the role of a young Navy lieutenant in Ice Station Zebra, which required some heavy-duty swimming ability. He drowns in the first reel.)
I was twenty-four, two-years his junior, and working LAPD uniform patrol having just finished a nightmare week in South Central which came to be known as the –The Watts Riots.
We quickly became best mates. An odd couple really. Murray was surrounded by international fame and had just come from an audience with the Queen of England while I was attending my first autopsies as a rookie homicide detective.
From the onset, our coming together had nothing to do with who we were, or where we had come from, but rather, our mutual desire To Know.
Our friendship was forged in a Desire for Self Knowledge. We were both asking the same questions: Quo Vadis? Whither goest thou? Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going?
I soon discovered that Murray applied the Olympic motto: “Citius, Altius, Fortius; “Swifter, Higher, Stronger” not just as an athlete, but also to his personal life. He turned them inward and used them as an inspiration and guidance for his moral compass.
Murray’s crowning achievement was not his success as one of the world’s greatest swimmer’s, (although he was that) but rather, as a man who lived his life in Light.
Murray, the man lived the Golden Rule, “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.” His intelligence recognized the value and sameness of all world religions and he was equally comfortable recognizing the truth of the Eastern dictum, “I am Thou and Thou art I.”
It is said that, “He who lives the life, will know the doctrine.” Murray was one of those rare individuals who actually lived the life.
Murray never judged others. He was a man who respected all peoples, all cultures. He possessed a strong, active mind which he regularly seasoned with three main spices; Humility, Wit and Humor. His family ring bore the Rose inscription, “Constant and True” and he lived those words from the cradle to grave.
For those of us who were privileged to know him on a personal level, Murray was a true Mahatma–a Great Soul. He was one with the Light.
Murray was a true Torch Bearer. He carried the Light and never faultered, never wavered.
Rest in Peace my good friend, until the work shall be complete.
Love and Light
Australia will honor Murray with a tribute on Monday, April 23, 2012. Services to be held at Sydney’s, St. Stephen’s Uniting Church. His wife Jodi and son Trevor will be present.