Kermit Murray was born in Oakland, California and grew up in the East Bay city of Concord, graduating from Concord High School in 1978. He obtained his B.S. degree in Chemistry with high honors at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1982 and was the Chemistry valedictorian. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Physics at the University of Colorado in 1988, working with Professor W. Carl Lineberger on the chemistry and spectroscopy of negative ions. He went on to postdoctoral research on infrared spectroscopy at Rice University with Professor Robert F. Curl and at Texas A&M University with Professor David H. Russell, where he developed novel spray ionization methods for MALDI mass spectrometry. At Emory University, he was an assistant professor before moving to Louisiana State University in 1991, where he is now a professor. His research focuses on instrument development and applications of mass spectrometry.