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Joan Morrison

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Joan Morrison Obituary
JOAN MORRISON AGE: 87 MORRISTOWN Joan Morrison, 87, of Morristown, author and oral historian, died on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010, following a brief illness. Born in 1922, she grew up in Chicago, graduated from the University of Chicago in 1944 with a degree in anthropology, and lived in Morristown since 1957. In 1975, she embarked on an oral history of the American immigrant experience, inspired by a citizenship ceremony she witnessed on a freelance assignment. She and her co-author, Charlotte Fox Zabusky, interviewed hundreds of immigrants to learn the human side of history. Their book, "American Mosaic: The Immigrant Experience in the Words of Those Who Lived It" was published in 1980 and recognized as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Dramatic readings from the book have been performed on Ellis Island, at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and in an "In Performance at the White House" program broadcast on PBS. In 1983, she began an oral history of the 1960's, with her son Robert K. Morrison as co-author. Their book, "From Camelot to Kent State: The Sixties Experience in the Words of Those Who Lived It" was published in 1987 and is often used as a text in American studies classes. She taught freelance writing at the County College of Morris in Dover for 15 years and a popular course on the 1960's at the New School for Social Research in New York City. She lectured frequently at colleges, universities and community centers around the country and abroad, most recently just one month before her death. She was a long-time member of the Oral History Association, American Studies Association and the National Society of Arts and Letters, where she was chair of the New Jersey chapter's literature committee, organizing annual statewide writing award competitions. She leaves her husband, Robert T. Morrison; her children, Robert K. Morrison, James V. Morrison and Susan S. Morrison; and five grandchildren. Memorial services will be held at St. Peter's Church, Morristown, on Friday, Feb. 26, 2010, at 10:30 a.m. Donations may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research at

Published in Daily Record on Feb. 24, 2010
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