Morley was born in Haverford, Pennsylvania, his father being the mathematician Frank Morley. Like his brothers, Christopher and Frank, Felix was educated at Haverford College and enjoyed a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, England. He obtained a Guggenheim Fellowship to study the League of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, which resulted in his book The Society of Nations (1933) and a Ph.D. from the Brookings Institution. Morley was raised within and remained a member of the Religious Society of Friends or Quakers.
From 1933 to 1940, Morley worked as editor for The Washington Post, winning, in 1936, the paper's first Pulitzer Prize, for his "distinguished editorial writing during the year." The Pulitzer Prize came after the Franklin D. Roosevelt's National Industrial Recovery Act was nullified by the U.S. Supreme Court. Morley had written that Roosevelt "turned his back on the traditions and principles of his party and gave tremendous support stimulus to the move for a complete political realignment in the United States."
In 1940, Morley left journalism for a post as President of Haverford College. He also supported Wendell Willkie that year as presidential candidate. Morley said he lost faith in Roosevelt after his Judiciary Reorganization Bill of 1937 to pack the Supreme Court and that Roosevelt had a "debonair attitude of pulling tricks out of a bag."
Morley was one of the founding editors of Human Events in 1944, where he opposed federal overreach and foreign interventionism. However, he left Human Events in 1950 because of its aggressive military stance towards the Soviet Union. He was also one of the founding members of the classical liberal Mont Pelerin Society in 1946.
After resigning from Haverford College, he continued his journalistic work at NBC and for Nation's Business. He published his memoirs, For the Record, in 1977. Other books he published after the war were The Power in the People (1949), The Foreign Policy of the United States (1951) and Freedom and Federalism (1959). Also published, in 1956, is his utopian novel Gumption Island.
- Weil, Martin (1982-03-15). "Felix Morley, Scholar, Educator and Journalist, Dies at 88". The Washington Post. p. B4.
- "Felix Morley Backs Wilkie". The New York Times. 1940-09-31. p. 18. Check date values in:
- Gillian Peele, 'American Conservatism in Historical Perspective', in Crisis of Conservatism? The Republican Party, the Conservative Movement, & American Politics After Bush, Gillian Peele, Joel D. Aberbach (eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011, p.21
- Nash, Georg H. (1998). The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America, Since 1945. Wilmington, Del: Intercollegiate Studies Institute. p. 112. ISBN 1-882926-20-X.
- Elizabeth A. Brennan; Elizabeth C. Clarage (1999). Who's Who of Pulitzer Prize Winners. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 167. ISBN 978-1-57356-111-2.
- American Republic or American Empire Modern Age, Volume 1, Number 1, Summer 1957.
- Sound recordings of speeches by Morley to the Institute for Humane Studies at the Hoover Institution Archives.
- A film clip "Longines Chronoscope with Felix Morley (January 30, 1952)" is available at the Internet Archive