Born in Wingham near Taree, August 20, 1938, Anthony Murray Gleeson was the eldest of four children. He attended St Joseph's College Hunters Hill and the University of Sydney graduating with first class honours in arts/law. Called to the bar in 1963, he read with LW Street. He married Robyn Patterson on 13 January 1965, the couple have four children.
He took silk in 1974 achieving an extensive constitutional, commercial and tax practice. President of the New South Wales Bar Association 1984 to 1986, he received the Order of Australia for service to the law in 1986 and then received the Companion Order of Australia in 1992. He was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW 1988.
In 1998, Chief Justice Murray Gleeson resigned his commission as Chief Justice of NSW to take up the appointment of Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia in Canberra. During his term of office in the Supreme Court he implemented were major reforms to the administration of the Court, resulting in increased efficiency. His judgments demonstrated an unfailing commitment to legal principles, saying:
'The principles of law in question do not exist merely to protect the private interests of a person in securing a fair trial in respect of alleged crimes. They protect the interests of the public in having persons who are accused of crime in our community dealt with by the system established for the administration of justice according to law.'