Arthur Ernest Morgan

Born in 1878 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Morgan learned engineering from his father. At a young age he became President of the Morgan Engineering Company. This firm constructed a flood control project in the Miami River Valley of Ohio. In 1915, as President of the Dayton-Morgan Engineering Co., he gained experience with methods of flood control and dam construction, which he later applied in his role as the first director of the Tennessee Valley Authority. Morgan served as President of Antioch College, until he was picked to head TVA in 1933. Morgan wanted to make it an agency of social planning intended to improve rural living standards, not just a technological resource. A firm believer in the power of cooperative planning, Morgan sought to involve the government, the utility companies and the community in his design. His vision proved impossible to achieve and entangled him in a series of public feuds with board member David Lilienthal. In 1938, Roosevelt dismissed Morgan for his public criticisms of TVA.


McCraw, Thomas K. TVA and the Power Fight, 1933-1939. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1971.