Edmund M. Morgan, Jr., was born on November 11, 1878, in Mineral Ridge, Ohio.
After graduating from Ohio public schools, he attended Harvard University. He
received the Bachelor of Arts in 1902, the Master of Arts in 1903 and a Bachelor
of Laws in 1905. He later completed another Masters degree at Yale (1919). On
April 26, 1911, he married Elsie Sears Smith. They had two children, Roberta
Mary and Edmund Sears Morgan.
Morgan began his career by practicing law with Coryate Wilson in Duluth, Minnesota, from 1905 to 1912. While in Duluth, he also served as both assistant and acting city attorney (1908-1910) and as special counsel to the Duluth Charter Commission. He joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota Law School in 1912 and served until 1917. From 1917 to 1925, he was a member of the Yale Law School faculty. He actually began his career at Yale with a brief hiatus, however, serving the United States Army as an assistant to the Judge Advocate General from 1917 to 1919, holding the ranks of Major and Lieutenant Colonel.
Morgan left Yale for Harvard in 1925, serving as Royall Professor of Law until he reached mandatory retirement age in 1950. During the summers, he taught at Columbia, North Carolina, Kansas, Colorado, Texas, Washington, Stanford, and Southern California. In 1936-37 and 1942-45, he was Acting Dean of the Harvard Law School. Upon his retirement, he joined the faculty of the Vanderbilt University Law School and was named Rand Professor of Law in 1951. He taught at Vanderbilt until approximately 1962.
From 1935 to approximately 1962, Morgan served as editorial director for the Foundation Press, a major publisher of legal scholarship and teaching materials. During the 1940s and 1950s, he was involved in several important legal reform efforts. From 1935 to 1956, he served on the Advisory Committee of the U.S. Supreme Court on Rules of Civil Procedure, drafting the original set of rules adopted by the Committee. He served the war effort from 1942 to 1945 by chairing the War Shipping Panel of the War Labor Board. In the early 1950s, he chaired the committee that drafted a Uniform Code of Military Justice. Also in the 1950s, he served as a consultant for the territory of Puerto Rico and the State of Israel, developing codes of civil procedure for each. In the course of his career, Morgan authored or co-authored six books and wrote over 100 articles for professional journals. He remained a keen and active scholar almost until the time of his death in Nashville in January 1966, at the age of 87.
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