William Noel Morris

From 1978 to 1994, Morris served four terms as Shelby County Mayor. Traveling the globe with Governors Alexander and McWherter, he promoted tourism with Memphis In May, Beale Street and Elvis' Graceland. He also sold the concept of Memphis as America's Distribution Center, helping to bring foreign businesses such as Sharp Manufacturing and Nissan Motor Company to Tennessee. His work promoting foreign trade earned him a seat on Pres. Ronald Reagan's International Economic Committee. Morris became a close friend and companion of Elvis Presley, deputizing Elvis and members of his "Memphis Mafia" in 1965. Morris was also one of a few close associates to participate in a never, publicized secret seance in an attempt to communicate with Elvis immediately after his death. After an unsuccessful campaign for governor in 1994, Morris retired from politics. Three years later, his wife, Ann, suffered a major stroke, which began his greatest challenge. For the next 19 years, he became devoted to his wife's day to daycare until her death in 2016..

Awards & Accolades

During my professional career, I was honored to be affiliated with the following organizations:

100 Club of Memphis (100 businessmen who contributed to support families of fallen firemen and policemen)

Aging Commission of the Mid South, Chairman

Al Chymia Shrine, Ambassador, Greeters, Lifetime Member

American Heart Association

American Legion, Bodley Americanism Award

Beta Lambda Epsilon, Law Fraternity

Blind Benefit Football Game, Chairman

Boys Town, President, Admissions Committee Chairman, Board member, Advisory Committee, Finance Committee

Boy Scouts of America, Chickasaw Council Advisory Board, President, Kentucky-Tennessee President, Explorer Advisor, School Night for Scouting, Chairman, Region 5 Director, National Committee Urban Relationships, National Cub Scout Committee, Silver Beaver & Silver Antelope Awards

Cancer Crusade

City and State Magazine, National County Executive of the Year

Christian Brothers University, President’s Council

Church Health Center, Development Committee

Colonial Park Methodist Church, Long Range Planning Committee., Board of Stewards

Delta Area Agency on Aging, Board Chairman

Duration Club of Memphis, Advisor

Easter Seal Society, Life Member, Executive Board

Easter Seal (National) Campaign, TN Co-chair with UT coach, Doug Dickey

Eastwood Manor Civic Club

Family Services of Memphis

Foundation of World Literacy

Gavel Club, President

Goals for Memphis, Board of Trustees

Hotel-Motel Association Distinguished Service Award

Itawamba Junior College, Distinguished Alumnus

Junior Achievement

Junior Chamber of Commerce, Past President, Life Member, Senator, Tennessee Colonels, Boss of the Year Award, Mr. Jaycee, Tennessee Jaycee of the Year, Spoke Award

Kiwanis National Lawman of the Year

Liberty Bowl Association, Board

Life Blood Foundation, Chairman, Board of Trustees

Lindenwood Christian Church, Capital Campaign Chairman and Board Chairman, Life Elder

Lions Club

Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club (City Current), Legacy Award

March of Dimes, Executive Board

Masonic Order, Stonewall Masonic Lodge #723 F & AM

Master Detective Magazine, Outstanding Lawman Award

Memphians for Economic Growth, Board of Trustees

Memphians for Patriotism

Memphis Athletic Association

Memphis Bar Association, Liberty Bell Award

Memphis Chamber of Commerce,

Tourism Committee

Memphis Cotton Carnival, Board of Directors, Parade Grand Marshall

Memphis Institute for Bail & Criminal Justice

Memphis Jobs Conference, Board of Trustees

Memphis Junior Chamber of Commerce, Past President, Vice President Public Relations, Tennessee Distinguished Service Award, Memphis’ Outstanding Young Man of the Year, Outstanding New Jaycee (Spoke Award), Jaycee of the Month Tennessee’s Outstanding Young Man

Memphis Partners, Inc., Board of Directors

Memphis-Shelby County Safety Council, Director, Vice President, President’s Award

Memphis Symphony, Wild Game Dinner Co-founder

Memphis Youth Guidance Commission

Mid-South Fair, Board of Advisors

Military Affairs Council, Civilian of the Year

Muscular Dystrophy Association, Executive Board

National Association of Counties, Board of Directors, Vice-Chairman, President, Council of Elected County Officials; Member, State & Local Coalition; Chairman, Committee on the Future; Vice-Chairman, National Institute of Leadership

National Council of Christians and Jews, Special Human Relations Award

National Football Foundation Hall of Fame, Contribution to Amateur Football Award, Memphis Chapter

National Jewish Center for Immunology & Respiratory Medicine, Council of National Trustees

National Jewish Hospital & Research Center Humanitarian Award

National Sheriff’s Association, Corrections Committee

Navy League

Omicron Delta Kappa

Optimist International, Lifetime Member, Founder & Charter Member of Germantown Club, Charter Member, Fox Meadows Club; Founder, Poplar East Club; National Optimist Award for Community Service

Orpheum Theater, Executive Board

Parent Teachers Association, Life Member

Parents Against Illegal Narcotics, Founder

Partners for Livable Communities, Chairman, Board of Trustees, President, Award of Merit

Pi Delta Epsilon, Journalism Fraternity

Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, Alumni Association

President Ronald Reagan’s International Economics Committee

Printing Industry of America, Ben Franklin Outstanding Citizenship Award

Ptah Secret Cotton Carnival Society, Co-founder

Redbirds Baseball Foundation, Executive Board

Rhodes College, President’s Council

Rotary Club, Harris Fellowship Award

Saint James Methodist Church, Board Member; Christian Social Concern Group, Founder and Chairman, Men’s Club, Sergeant-at-Arms, Church Usher Committee

Sales & Marketing Executives of Memphis, Inc., Outstanding Community Sales Award

Sertoma Club, Service to Mankind Award

Scottish Rite Mason

Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, Advisory Board

Shelby County Mental Health Association, Board of Directors (non governmental)

Shelby State Community College, Dr. F. Oliver Hardy Award for Outstanding Community Leadership

Southeast U.S. – Japan Association

Southeast U.S. – Korea Association

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, National Advisory Board

Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations

Tennessee County Officials, Chairman

Tennessee County Services Association, President, Board of Directors

Tennessee – Japan Friends in Commerce, Friendship Award

Tennessee Prison & Jain Reform Action Committee, President

University of Memphis, William N. Morris Chair in International Economics at the Fogelman College of Business, Dr. C.C. Humphreys Golden Tiger Award, Distinguished Alumnus of the Year, Ambassadors Club, Alumni Association Chairman, Special Gifts, Chairman; National Foundation, Tiger Club Board of Directors, President’s Board of Visitors, Chairman, Fogelman School of Business Advisory Board, Co-chairman Athletic Capital Campaign, International Committee

University of Southern California’s Community Leadership Award

World Affairs Council, Citizenship Award

YMCA Management Board