Meet DAVID LEE MORGAN JR., author of Breaking Through The Lines: The Marion Motley Story
Marion Motley was recognized as one of the gridiron’s most outstanding players for the Cleveland Browns when he was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1968 in his hometown of Canton, Ohio. Yet, the story of one of the sport’s greatest and most impactful players remains unknown to most Americans. His legacy off the field, as one of four Black players to reintegrate pro football in 1946, helped blaze a path for Black athletes in the highest echelons of professional sports, including baseball’s Jackie Robinson.
David Lee Morgan Jr. will share a multi-media presentation sharing the stories in his new book Breaking Through the Lines: The Story of Marion Motley, along with stories of how he became co-producer of the 2022 Regional Emmy award-winning documentary Lines Broken: The Story of Marion Motley, which aired on PBS Western Reserve, and was distributed to PBS affiliates nationally by American Public Television.
After working more than two decades as a sportswriter in Northeast Ohio, David Lee Morgan, Jr. is now a high school English teacher, public speaker, and author of nine books. He first took an interest in Marion Motley in 1999, when he covered the former football star's funeral for the Akron Beacon Journal. Morgan wrote additional stories about Motley, and later served as a co-producer of the regional Emmy Award–winning documentary “Lines Broken: The Story of Marion Motley,” which aired nationally on PBS in 2021 and was distributed by American Public Television.
A native of Warren, Ohio, Morgan went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in professional writing and editing from Youngstown State University, and a Master of Science degree in curriculum and instruction from Western Governors University. In 2022, Youngstown State awarded Morgan honorary doctor of humane letters.
Following a long career in journalism, including 15 years at the Beacon Journal, Morgan now works primarily in education and literacy. Among the books he has written is LeBron James: The Rise of a Star, which was selected as a top book for reluctant young readers by the American Library Association. The book also received starred editorial reviews from Booklist and School Library Journal.
Morgan and his wife Jill enjoy their Northeast Ohio home in Canton — the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and of Marion Motley — with their two Labrador retrievers, D. J. and Donut. They also enjoy the regular visits from their seven adult children and three grandchildren.
Visit Morgan online at www.davidleemorganjr.com.