Madalyn Murray O’Hair (née Mays; April 13, 1919 – September 29, 1995), was an American activist, founder of American Atheists, and the organization’s president from 1963 to 1986. She created the first issues of American Atheist Magazine. O’Hair is best known for the Murray v. Curlett lawsuit, which led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling ending official Bible-reading in American public schools in 1963. That case came just one year after the Supreme Court prohibited officially sponsored prayer in schools in Engel v. Vitale.
In 1995, O’Hair, her son Jon, and her granddaughter Robin disappeared from Austin, Texas. They were later found to have been kidnapped, murdered and mutilated by David Roland Waters, a convicted felon on parole, and fellow career criminal Gary Karr, and a third man, Danny Fry.