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Garrett Morgan

Born:  March 4, 1877

Birthplace:   Los Angeles, CA

Died:  July 27, 1963

Final Resting Place:   Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio 

Zodiac Sign:  Pisces

Career and Life

Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr. was an African-American inventor, businessman, and community leader. His most notable inventions were a three position traffic signal and a smoke hood notably used in a 1916 tunnel construction disaster rescue. Morgan also discovered and developed a chemical hair-processing and straightening solution. He created a successful company based on his hair product inventions along with a complete line of hair-care products, and became involved in the civic and political advancement of African-Americans, especially in and around Cleveland, Ohio.

She sang the theme song for the reality competition show America's Next Top Model. 


Morgan was born in 1877 at Claysville, Harrison County, Kentucky, an almost exclusively African American community outside of Paris, Kentucky. His father was Sydney Morgan, a son and freed slave of Confederate Colonel John H. Morgan of Morgan's Raiders. His mother was a slave called Elizabeth Reed, daughter of Rev. Garrett Reed; she was part Native American. He had at least one sibling, a brother named Frank, who assisted in the 1916 Lake Erie tunnel rescue. With a sixth-grade education, from Branch Elementary School in Claysville, Morgan moved at the age of 14 to Cincinnati, Ohio, in search of work. 


In 1908, he co-founded the Cleveland Association of Colored Men, which later merged with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Morgan served as its treasurer. He was a member of the NAACP and donated money to Historically Black Colleges and Universities colleges. 


Morgan, in 1920, founded the Cleveland Call, a weekly newspaper and, in 1938, subsequently participated in its merger that created the Cleveland Call and Post newspaper. Morgan purchased a farm near Wakeman, Ohio, and upon that land build the Wakeman Country Club, open to Blacks, unlike most country clubs then.

In 1931, seeing that the city was neither properly addressing the needs of its African American citizens, he ran for a seat on the Cleveland City Council as an independent, but was not elected.

Morgan is an honorary member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. 



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