Author Bob Morris literally grew up at the knees of some of our country’s top labor leaders. Here, in a photo taken in 1954, young “Bobby” is with his father, Ken Morris. At that time, Bob’s father was president of one of the largest and most influential local unions of the United Automobile Workers – Local 212, the Briggs local.
Ken Morris worked extremely hard during those years and it was not uncommon for him to take Bob and his older brother, Greg, to labor and political functions, especially on weekends. It was during these years that Bob and Greg heard and, in some cases, met some of the top political and labor leaders of their generation, including: Walter Reuther, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Adlai Stevenson, Dr. Martin Luther King, and many others. Along the way, Bob heard the stories of how the UAW and the industrial labor movement of the 1930s and 1940s evolved.
As an adult, Bob Morris spent his career developing public policy at Michigan’s State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan. He worked for the Speaker of the State House of Representatives, was deeply involved in two gubernatorial administrations, and worked at high levels in local government. Among the issues Morris worked on were: unemployment compensation, workers’ compensation, transportation safety issues, transportation funding issues, and reforming Michigan’s high school graduation requirements. Morris is currently working part-time for the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. With his free time, Morris has researched the stories he heard from his father and other labor leaders. Built in Detroit represents the culmination of his research and is an effort to tell his father’s story and a perspective of the American labor movement that preciously few people know or understand.
Bob Morris currently lives in Canton Michigan with his marvelous wife and their incredible dog, Monco.