Al Morgan 1920-2011 TV producer, author of 11 novels, including The Great Man, later made into an award-winning movie starring Jose Ferrer, playwright including Minor Miracle and Oh Captain!, a 1958 Tony nominee, theater critic and journalist, died peacefully on March 3rd in Brattleboro Vt after a period of declining health. He was 91. Born on January 16, 1920 to Julia Britt and Albert E. Morgan, he attended Bryant High School and New York University. During World War II he served first as an infantryman with the 45th Division and later, after being wounded, as a combat correspondent. He was awarded the Silver Star for "Gallantry in Action", the Croix de Guerre, and the Purple Heart. After the armistice he served as Drama Director for the Armed Forces Network in Paris. He served in Italy (the Anzio Beachhead), France (landed in the first wave in the invasion in southern France), Germany (first Americans to liberate Dachau) and Austria. An innovator in radio programming and a pioneer in live television, he worked at all three of the major networks. At CBS he was writer-producer of This Is New York and writer-producer with the CBS Documentary Unit. At NBC he was a writer for The Home Show and from 1961 - 1968 producer of The Today Show. At ABC he was performer-interviewer on the Late Night Show. He was a producer at PBS's Children's Television Workshop. In 1968 he won an Emmy for Contributions to Television. He also won the Ohio State Award as writer-producer of the CBS documentary on race relations in America, The High Mountain. He was theater and film critic for CBS Radio and reviewed books for the New York Herald Tribune and the Saturday Review of Literature. He was, for a brief period, drama critic for New York Magazine and Show Business Illustrated. He is the author of 11 novels including The Great Man, and The Whole World is Watching, two Broadway plays, Minor Miracle and a musical, Oh Captain! co-written with José Ferrer. He collaborated with José Ferrer on the screenplay of his novel, The Great Man. He moved to Dummerston Vt., from Bronxville NY in 1977, continued writing novels and articles including a profile of the BUHS career centre for Readers Digest. He served eight years as member and chairman of the Vermont State Library Board. Mr. Morgan was predeceased by his wife, actress Martha Falconer Jones and survived by three children; Allen Morgan (Toronto, Canada), Joey Morgan (Brattleboro, Vt.) and Amy Jane Johnson (Albuquerque, NM); five grandchildren, Tim Morgan, Caylen, Lorin and Jacob Johnson, and Isabel Morgan/Karl; and two great grandchildren. A celebration of his life is planned for later this spring.
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Published in Brattleboro Reformer on Mar. 5, 2011