Thomas Murton, the Arkansas prisons chief who was the...

Deaths elsewhere

October 21, 1990

Thomas Murton, the Arkansas prisons chief who was the inspiration for the Robert Redford movie "Brubaker," died Oct. 10 of cancer at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Oklahoma City. He was 62. Mr. Murton advocated treating prisoners with respect, and he opposed the death penalty. He rose to prominence as head of Cummins State Prison in Arkansas in the 1960s. Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller appointed him head of the prison system in 1967. Mr. Redford's 1980 role in "Brubaker" as a reform-minded prisons chief who gets little support from his state's political establishment was loosely based on Mr. Murton's career in Arkansas.

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