Over the course of his extraordinary life, Audie Murphy went from being a poor Texas sharecropper's son to America's most decorated WWII hero to a popular Western and action movie star. Though he died in 1971, his accomplishments are still commemorated in a variety of ways that range from his native Hunt County's annual Audie Murphy Day celebration to his induction into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Country Music Association of Texas. His name also appears on a VA hospital, a library room, a stretch of U.S. Highway 69 in Texas, and a San Antonio division of the Army.
Murphy was born to a family of cotton growers near Kingston, TX. Boyish-looking and slender, he appeared an unlikely war hero, but while stationed in Europe with his infantry unit, Murphy was credited with killing 240 Germans, was promoted to lieutenant, and earned at least 24 medals, including a Purple Heart for a gunshot wound that shattered his hip and the coveted Congressional Medal of Honor.