William Murray was an American fiction editor and staff writer at The New Yorker for more than thirty years.He wrote a series of mystery novels set in the world of horse racing, many featuring Shifty Lou Anderson, a professional magician and horseplayer. Among his many contributions to The New Yorker was the magazine's "Letters from Italy" of which he was the sole author. The majority of his later years were spent living in Del Mar, California, "exactly 3.2 miles from the finish line" of Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. Murray died in March 2005 at age 78. Just prior to his death, Murray had completed a book about Chicago’s Lyric Opera Center for American Artists.