As a boxer in high school, he was always the smallest of the group. The nickname “Kayo”, little brother of cartoon character Moon Mullins, was bestowed upon him. He was born in Brooklyn, Texas; on Christmas Eve in 1916, to A.J. and Florence Murphy and had six brothers and two sisters. The family moved to Kissimmee when Kayo was in second grade. His childhood was spent attending local schools, enjoying summers at the old swimming hole on Mill Slough and climbing up trees to watch movies in an open air theater on the corner of Monument Avenue and the railroad tracks. He later graduated from St. Leo Preparatory College where he excelled in sports and was inducted into the St. Leo College Athletic Hall of Fame.