Ira Nelson Morris

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Ira Nelson Morris
Minister of Sweden
In office
July 13, 1914 – April 3, 1923
PresidentWoodrow Wilson
Warren G. Harding
Commissioner general to Italy
In office
PresidentWoodrow Wilson
Personal details
Born(1875-03-08)March 8, 1875
Chicago, Illinois, US
DiedJanuary 15, 1942(1942-01-15) (aged 66)
Chicago, Illinois, US
Resting placeRosehill Cemetery and Mausoleum
SpouseConstance Lily Rothschild
Children2, including Ira Victor Morris
RelativesEdward Morris (brother)
Abram M. Rothschild (brother-in-law)
Edita Morris (daughter-in-law)
Alma materPhillips Academy (1892)
Sheffield Scientific School (Yale University) (1895)

Ira Nelson Morris (March 8, 1875 – January 15, 1942) was an American author and diplomat appointed the United States Minister to Sweden, serving from 1914 to 1923. In 1913 he was appointed the Commissioner General to Italy, on behalf of the Panama–Pacific International Exposition.

Early years[edit]

Ira Morris was born March 8, 1875, in Chicago, Illinois, to Sarah (née Vogel) and Nelson Morris. His father was a meat-packing executive and founder of Morris & Company.[1][2] His brother was Edward Morris.[3] He attended Phillips Academy, in Andover, Massachusetts, graduating in 1892. He then attended Sheffield Scientific School, part of Yale University, graduating in 1895.[4]


After graduation, Morris worked for his father in the meat-packing industry. He became involved in social problems and philanthropy, and was a member of the Chicago Peace Society and a foreign delegate to the American Peace Conference.[5] After leaving his father's company he served as the president of Union Rending Company; treasurer of Consumer's Cotton Oil Company; secretary of Fairbank Canning Company; and director of National Packing Company, the National Stockyards of St. Louis, and A.M. Rothschild and Company.[6]

In 1913, he was appointed the Commissioner General to Italy, where he helped the Italian government gain representation at the Panama–Pacific International Exposition.[5] On July 13, 1914, he was appointed the United States Minister to Sweden, a position he held until April 3, 1923.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Morris mausoleum at Rosehill Cemetery

In 1898, he married Constance Lily Rothschild, daughter of Victor Henry Rothschild, in New York City; they had two children, Constance Irene Morris and author Ira Victor Morris.[8]

In 1921, while sailing to New York, on the Scandinavian-American liner United States, Morris saved the life of 19-year-old Ellen Neilson, of Brooklyn, in mid-ocean, when she was nearly washed overboard.[9]

Morris died in Chicago on January 15, 1942. His will included $150,000 for the construction of a mausoleum at Rosehill Cemetery, where he was interred.[10]


The World War II Liberty Ship SS Ira Nelson Morris was named in his honor.[11]


  1. ^ JVL.
  2. ^ History of the Jews of Chicago. Jewish Historical Society of Illinois. 1924. p. 423.
  3. ^ Roth, Nelson (Spring 2008). "Nelson Morris and 'The Yards'" (PDF). Chicago Jewish Historical Society.
  4. ^ Men of Mark.
  5. ^ a b Daily Jewish Courier 1914.
  6. ^ Ingham 1983, p. 979.
  7. ^ Historian.
  8. ^ Quindecennial Record - Yale University - Sheffield Scientific School. Class of 1895. Leopold Classic Library. March 23, 2017.
  9. ^ American Consular 1922, p. 16.
  10. ^ Chicago Tribune.
  11. ^ Williams 2014, p. 122.