Donald R. Morris (1924-2002) was best known for authoring The Washing of the Spears: The Rise and Fall of the Zulu Nation (1965), a history on the Anglo-Zulu War. He wrote two novels, China Station (1951) and Warm Bodies (1957), and a number of articles for publication in various periodicals. His spent his career in the Navy, the CIA, and, after retirement, as a journalist for the Houston Post.
Morris was born in 1924 and raised in New York City. He graduated from Horace Mann, spent three semesters at the University of Michigan (majoring in Naval Architecture and Chinese) and enlisted in the Navy in 1942. He entered the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis in 1944 and graduated in 1948 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.
He served on three destroyers and an LST, and worked on the Victory at Sea television series. After Naval Intelligence School and Russian language training, he was detailed to the C.I.A. in 1956. He resigned his regular commission in 1960, remaining with the C.I.A. and continuing in the Naval Reserve until 1972, retiring as a Lieutenant Commander. He earned two battle stars in Korea and holds the Navy Commendation medal and a South Vietnamese decoration for psychological warfare.
Morris served with the C.I.A. until 1972, retiring with a total of 30 years government service. His 17 years with the C.I.A. were spent almost entirely in Soviet counterespionage operations, with 11 years overseas. He was stationed in Berlin from 1958 to 1962, in Paris from 1965 to 1967, in Kinshasa from 1969 to 1970 and spent the last two years of his service in Vietnam with MACV/SOG.
Donald Morris started to write for publication while at the Naval Academy and continued to do so for the rest of his life. His two novels, though works of fiction, were partly inspired by his general life and naval experiences. Warm Bodies was a Reader's Digest Book Club selection and was also adapted into a motion picture titled All Hands on Deck. However, he is better known for his book The Washing of the Spears that was first published in 1965 and reissued several times. Morris also wrote a number of articles for publication in various periodicals.
He developed a career in journalism after retiring from government service. He was a news analyst for The Houston Post from 1972 to 1989, writing an op-ed column on national and foreign affairs four times a week. In 1989, he established The Trident Syndicate which published the Donald R. Morris Newsletter that continued his four weekly columns of news analysis. Morris also gave lectures on national and foreign affairs in addition to teaching writing and African history courses at some universities in Texas.
Throughout his life, he remained interested in African, particularly South African current affairs. He wrote a considerable number of columns with his take on South African and African politics particularly in the The Houston Post, visited South Africa several times and worked as an election observer in Lesotho (1993) and South Africa (1994).
Donald Morris died on 4 December 2002.http://socialarchive.iath.virginia.ed...