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David Hennen Morris

David Hennen Morris
Born April 24, 1872
New Orleans, Louisiana
Died May 4, 1944
Residence 19 E. 70th Street, New York
Education Harvard University, Columbia University
Occupation Lawyer, businessman, diplomat, racehorse owner
Known for Co-founder of IALA
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Alice Vanderbilt Shepard
Children Lawrence, Noel
Parents John Albert Morris & Cora Hennen

David Hennen "Dave" Morris (April 24, 1872 – May 4, 1944) was an American lawyer, diplomat, and Thoroughbred racehorse owner who co-founded the International Auxiliary Language Association (IALA).

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana to John Albert Morris and Cora Hennen, the daughter of Judge Alfred Hennen. He earned a Masters degree from Columbia University and in 1896 graduated from Harvard University. He became an attorney and was admitted to the New York Bar. Following his father's death in 1895, Dave Morris inherited considerable wealth and held business interests in railroads, hotels, and other enterprises. He was vice-president of the St. Louis Southwestern Railway Co. (Cotton Belt Route).

From 1933 to 1937, he was the United States Ambassador to Belgium and Envoy to Luxembourg. During this joint appointment, he resided in Belgium, where he and his wife continued to make international contacts for the language that would later take the name Interlingua. He also was Vice President of the Research Corporation and Counselor of the Belgian-American Educational Foundation, where Ezra Clark Stillman was Secretary.

Morris was a founder of the Aero Club of America and of the Automobile Club of America.

With his wife Alice Vanderbilt Shepard, a granddaughter of William Henry Vanderbilt, he co-founded the IALA, which in 1951 would present Interlingua to the general public. He was treasurer of the IALA from its establishment in 1924 to his death in 1944. His son, Lawrence, then assumed the position.

In 1928 the Morris's twenty-four-year-old son Noel committed suicide.

Thoroughbred horse racing

His father was a prominent figure in Thoroughbred horse racing who owned Morris Park Racetrack in The Bronx, New York. David Morris and brother Alfred, a Vice-Chairman and steward of The Jockey Club, owned, bred, and raced a number of successful Thoroughbreds. Among their major racing wins were the 1898 Belmont Stakes with Bowling Brook, and the 1899 Kentucky Derby with Manuel.


  • DiBrino, Nicholas. The History of the Morris Park Racecourse and the Morris Family (1977) Bronx Historical Society ISBN 0941980278

External links


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