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Chance meeting with President Obama leads to Tom Murro becoming the ‘Celebrity Magnet’

murrotom021910_optNew Jersey banker having fun with new career in entertainment

BY ANDREW LAGOMARSINO
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Your life can change in a blink of an eye.

Tom Murro is a testament to that.

One day, he is an affable, personable and regular guy in the banking business.

Then. Wham! The next day he is a celebrity magnet.

And it all started with a happenstance meeting with President Obama at the Farm Neck Golf Club on Martha's Vineyard.

"The magic of meeting the President and having a photo taken with him opened so many doors," said Murro, who lives in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.

Now Murro is meeting celebrities all the time, has his own website (www.Celebritymagnet.com) and was invited to be on the red carpet to cover the Gotham Awards in New York.

On that fateful day when he met President Obama, Murro happened to bump into Spike Lee, his son and wife on the Farm Neck course. They have a mutual friend so cordial conversation ensued.

"Well, the golf course where the President was playing, it was literally controlled chaos,'' added Murro. "There were helicopters all over, security guys in trees, the course closed tight.

"Secret Service people were shoo-ing us away as the President came up the fairway where we were. Spike's property was adjacent to the course, so we stayed there and waited as the president approached. Obama walked up to Spike and shook his hand and gave him a hug.

murrolauren021910_opt"When I met the President, I said, "It's an honor to meet you, Mr. President."

Then Obama warmly and matter-of-factly shook my hand and said, "It's Barack."

Murro and his daughter each had personal photos take with Obama.

"That almost never happens," said Murro. "Personal photos with President usually have to be cleared ahead of time."

Well, as a result of that photo session, Murro's 10-year-old daughter was asked to appear on the Tyra Banks show and on the Sesame Street 40th Anniversary gala.

As for Murro, his Celebrity Magnet reputation just kept growing.

"Two weeks later, I am walking down 61st Street in Manhattan and I see Dustin Hoffman. I go up to him with my camera and say, would you like to see something," Murro said. "Hoffman said sure. I showed him the picture of me with the president and Dustin took a photo with me...and said, "Well, your picture today with me will be better."

Since his August random meeting with the president, Murro, has a list of roughly 40 celebrities he has met, crediting it to his meeting with Obama.

murrotominter021910_optAnd he is gone viral on the internet. Labeled the Celebrity Magnet, "the PR people at the Gotham Awards asked me to do celebrity interviews on the red carpet. Heck, I am in banking and I don't know anything about interviewing." But he pulled it off.

All of this, as a result of one photo with the President.

Yes, Lady Luck has been his constant companion.

"I don't know if it will run out soon," said Murro about his long-running good fortune. "But each week, something small or new happens."

Next up: Murro will be working his magic at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.

 

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