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Howard Vincent Morgan ’40

A picture of Howard Morgan and Rosina Corbett Morgan

Howard Vincent Morgan ’40, April 14, 2012, in McMinnville, Oregon. A descendant of pioneers who came to Oregon in the 1860s, Howard was born in Tillamook, Oregon, in 1914 and graduated from Jefferson High School in Portland. He financed his academic endeavors by working construction jobs and spent a year at the University of Oregon before enrolling at Reed, where he served as student body president and met Rosina Corbett ’41; they married in 1940 and had four children. “No part of my life has been more interesting and enjoyable than my years at Reed,” he wrote. “The Reed experience has given me a sense of independence and at least latent competence—a respect for facts, and the knowledge of how to find and organize them—that has never left me.” Mike Munk ’56 shared a story that took place when Mike was six and Howard was a senior at Reed. Mike was riding his bike along the canyon with a friend, Johnny Carney. Johnny’s bike tire jammed in a rut, propelling him deep into Reed Lake, where he began to drown. Mike ran to the old SU and shouted for help. Howard bounded down to the canyon, jumped in the lake, and pulled Johnny to shore, where friends performed CPR. Johnny recovered fully. After earning a BA in economics at Reed, Howard began an MA program at University of California, Berkeley. He was called to active duty during World War II and served in the Office of Defense Transportation before being assigned to the Naval Air Transport Services for the duration of the war. From 1948 to 1959 Howard and Rosina operated a sheep farm near Monmouth, Oregon, and during the ’60s they raised cattle at Black Butte Ranch in central Oregon. Howard was a member of the Oregon legislature and was the Oregon Democratic Party chairman in 1952–56. There, he changed Oregon politics, getting Democrats elected to office for the first time in Oregon history, including Senators Wayne Morse and Maurine Neuberger. As public utility commissioner under Bob Holmes, he made several populist decisions that were upheld by the Oregon Supreme Court. In the early ’60s he was appointed to the Federal Power Commission, and in 1966 he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate on an anti–Vietnam War platform. He also ran a construction company until he sold his holdings in 1967. After his retirement, Howard and Rosina sailed by private sailboat for 15 years in the Caribbean and Mediterranean. They lived in Spain and on Bainbridge Island, Washington, before settling in McMinnville. Survivors include Rosina, son Peter, daughters Kate and Sarah, seven grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. Another son, Thomas, died in 1967.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2012

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