Anthony William Morris
August 27, 1950 – August 11, 2014
Born in the summer of 1950, in the windy City of Chicago, Illinois, Anthony “Tony” Morris moved with his parents, the late Mary E. Morris and Edmund R. Morris, to Brooklyn, New York as an infant. This robust city was his home until he went away for college to the small community of Binghamton, New York just as the nation began to embrace change in the late 1960s.
An honors graduate of Boys High School in Brooklyn, Tony enrolled in the pre- law program at the State University of New York at Binghamton. His passion for how government works evidenced through the images he captured through his camera lens may have been ignited during his work for the Broome County Government in Binghampton and while serving on several Model Cities Community Advisory Boards. Just weeks shy of graduation, Tony left Binghamton headed west to Houston, Texas where he would make his mark on the world.
Growing up in Brooklyn where deals are made in small shops and along busy street corners, Tony’s entrepreneurial spirit drove him to open stores and flea market stands offering unique items that reflected the culture and political pulse of the community in every place he called home. Even as his health declined, he would set up shop at major events like Grand Prix Houston displaying his wares and photographs to willing patrons on the hunt for one-of-a-kind treasures.
Where he found his calling was behind the lens of his camera, capturing millions of images including those of extraordinary people and significant moments in History and of ordinary people, places and situations. He was always in the midst of the ACTION, be it at Houston City Hall in Council chambers, on the steps of the Texas State capitol, on the lawn of the National Mall, inside the makeshift home of Katrina evacuees in the Astrodome following Hurricane Katrina or chronicling the recognition of Houston’s citizens at black-tie galas and neighborhood press conferences. Tony was both in the background and in the forefront, always with one or more cameras.
Tony is survived by his children Yusef Morris (Yolanda), Simel Morris (Alishia), Angelica Morris, Ishmael Morris and Khalif Morris, grandchildren Aaron, Alijah, Nadyia, Jemel, Manolo, Lynia and Skye, siblings Suzette Eaddy, Cynthia Y. Townsend, Alan J. Bell and Bonnie A. Bell, nieces Danielle Eaddy- Alleyne, Talim Johnson, Cineste Robinson, Serita Thompson, nephews Celen Thompson, Bryant Townsend, Gabriel Townsend, Herbert Townsend, great-nephews Nyle Johnson, Aaron Johnson and one great-niece Kayla Johnson. His younger sister Bonita M. Bell preceded him in death last year.
Tony brightened and enhanced the lives of all he touched. We mourn his passing and celebrate his life.