|Died||1964 (aged 76–77)|
|Occupation||Real estate developer|
|Spouse(s)||Gwendolyn Detre de Surany|
Cafritz was born to a Jewish family in Lithuania that immigrated to Washington, D.C. in 1898. His family lived at 2706 N Street, in Georgetown. He bought produce for his father's grocery store. He studied at the Corcoran School of Art. He studied at the National Law University. He bought the Star Coal and Coke Company, at 315 Q Street. In 1911, he owned a saloon, the Old-Timer's Bar, at 8th Street and K Street, Southwest, Washington, D.C. He operated bowling alleys.
He joined his cousin, in the development of Park Place, near 7th Street. In 1922, he started the development of Petworth, where he sold houses for $8,950, or financed for $1 down and $75 a month. He developed the Greenwich Forest neighborhood. He built the Ambassador Hotel, at 14th and K Street; the Westchester Apartments in 1932; and the Majestic Apartments.
He built a home at 2301 Foxhall Road, N.W. In 1949, he built the Cafritz Building, at 1625 Eye Street. He developed along K Street, building office buildings at 1725 K, 1725 I, and 1735 I Streets.
He was a charter member of the YMHA, in Washington, D.C. He raised $250,000 to build the Washington, D.C. Jewish Community Center. He was president of the Jewish Community Center. In 1964, he offered to donate the Keith theater as a performing arts center.
He founded the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, in 1948, funding it with half his estate, $11 1/2 million. The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation is now Washington, D.C.'s largest private foundation with assets of $735,000,000. Foundation gives annual charitable grants of $20,000,000 to various non profits in the Washington, D.C. area. The Morris Cafritz Center for the Arts is named for him.
In July 1929, he married Gwendolyn Detre de Surany, an immigrant of Hungarian descent and twenty years his junior; they had three children: Calvin, Carter and Conrad. His granddaughter is musician and guitarist Julia Cafritz. Their home was located on Foxhall Road and is now the home of the Field School.
- Jewish Washington: "Real Estate Boom" retrieved September 18. 2014
- Solomon, pp. 1-2
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- "Junior Achievement | Washington Business Hall of Fame | History | Past Laureates | 1996 | Morris Cafritz". Myja.org. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
- "The Westchester - Building History". Westchesterdc.com. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
- "Projects : Blackburn Architects, P.C". Blackburnarch.com. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
- Soloman, p. 32
- Solomon, pp. 68-70
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- Solomon, pp. 18-19
- "Jewish Washington: Scrapbook of an American Community | The Center of It All". Jhsgw.org. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
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- "The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation". Cafritzfoundation.org. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
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- "Center for the Arts". Dcjcc.org. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
- Graham, Katharine Katharine Graham's Washington
- Solomon, p.22
- Christie's website retrieved October 18, 2014 | A Hungarian-American beauty, Gwendolyn Detre de Surany in 1929 married Morris Cafritz, twenty years her senior and, at the time, one of city's most eligible bachelors
- Susan Heller Anderson (December 1, 1988). "Gwendolyn Cafritz, 78, Washington Hostess". The New York Times.
- Burt Solomon, The Washington Century: Three Families and the Shaping of the Nation's Capital, William Morrow, November 9, 2004, ISBN 978-0-06-621372-9