The hospital’s chief of plastic surgery had performed skin grafts on civilians and noticed that the closer the donor and recipient were related, the slower the tissue was rejected. A skin graft between identical twins had taken permanently.
Murray said that was ‘‘the impetus’’ of his study of organ transplantation.
Murray was ever the optimist and kept on his desk a quotation, ‘‘Difficulties are opportunities,’’ his son Rick Murray said.
‘‘It reflects the unwavering optimism of a great man who was generous, curious, and always humble,’’ Rick Murray said in a statement released by the hospital.
Joseph Murray is survived by his wife, Bobby, five other children and 18 grandchildren.
Associated Press writer Sylvia Lee Wingfield contributed to this report.