In Memoriam

Kathryn Lawson Morgan (1919-2010)

Kathryn L. Morgan, the Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot Professor Emerita of History at Swarthmore College, died late last month at a healthcare facility in Media, Pennsylvania. She was 91 years old.

Professor Morgan was a native of Philadelphia. In 1952 she earned a bachelor’s degree at Howard University. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in folklore from the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1970 Morgan was hired to teach at Swarthmore College. She was the first African American on the college’s faculty. Later she was the first African American to be awarded tenure. Professor Morgan also taught at Bryn Mawr, Haverford, the University of Delaware, and the University of California at Berkeley.

In 1991 she became the first African American elected to the executive board of the American Folklore Society. Her most widely known book was Children of Strangers: The Stories of a Black Family, which was published in 1980. She retired from teaching at Swarthmore in 1995.