Thomas Harvey Morgan of Austin, Texas, died Thursday, November 16 at the Arizona Heart Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona, from complications after surgery to repair an aortic Aneurism. Known as Harv Morgan, he had a long and distinguished career in radio broadcasting from the 1950s through the 1980s. In recent years, he had returned to acting, performing in local theater in Austin and in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Morgan was born in West Palm Beach, Florida, in 1927. He was one of six children of Arthur Vance Morgan and Jennie Wofford Cheatham. Morgan served in the Merchant Marine from 1945-46 and in the Army from 1946-49 and 1950-53. In between these Army service periods, he was a sports announcer for WIRK, West Palm Beach.
In 19562, Morgan married Pauline B. Remeli of New York City and they had a son Brian in 1954. Their marriage ended in divorce in 1966. Morgan graduated from Hunter College, New York City, in 1956 with a degree in English. In the late 1950s he served as program and news director at WHM, Charleston, West Virginia, and at WMNI, Columbus, Ohio. In 1961, Morgan hosted a morning show on WCAO, Baltimore, Maryland, achieving first place in the ratings.
From 1961-66, Morgan hosted top-rated programs on KYW (later WKYC), Cleveland, Ohio. Shows such as "Program PM" and "Contact" on radio and "Open Circuit" on television attracted listeners all over northern Ohio. As one of the pioneers of talk radio, Morgan's programs were controversial and popular. In an era of low technology, his format allowed moderator, guest and listener to exchange ideas on UFOs, the Kennedy assassination, racial issues, sex, extremism, etc.
In late 1966, Morgan moved to California and found great success with KCBS and KGO in San Francisco. At KCBS, he continued the "Contact" program through 1968. During the 1970s, Morgan was a news anchor and investigative reported for KGO. In December 1979 and January 1980, he covered the hostage crisis in Iran, broadcasting to four different ABC-owned stations from Tehran.
In the 1970s, he was an Assistant Professor of broadcast journalism at San Francisco State University.
After returning from Iran, he found that he had contacted a rare illness during his assignment. Once fully recovered, he visited friends in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and was enchanted by this small, historic city and decided to make his home there. Through the 1980s and early 90s, he became involved with the San Miguel players Workshop and appeared in numerous stage productions. He met and married fellow actor Karen A. Ray in 1984.
In 1994, Morgan relocated to Austin's Westlake section, continued in the theater, and appeared in movies, music videos and short films. After his divorce in 1996, he traveled and enjoyed good times with his many actor friends. Morgan was an authority on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. He loved to go camping with his dogs.
He was a member of the American Legion and the Disabled American Veterans.
Surviving Morgan are his sons Brian H. of Annandale, Va., and Michael A. of San Rafael, Calif., and a sister, Virginia, of Fayetteville, Ark. Morgan was cremated in Phoenix and is buried in northern Virginia.