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The late Dr. John H. Morrow Sr. was one of the highest-ranking Black diplomats of his time. He was he first U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Guinea, and was the first American representative of UNESCO.

John Howard Morrow was born February 5th, 1910 in Hackensack, N.J. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, and later earned his master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1942 and 1952 respectively. He went on to teach secondary school across New Jersey before moving south to become a professor of Modern Languages at Talladega College. He also had academic stints teaching at Clark College and North Carolina Central University.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Dr. Morrow as the Guinea ambassador in 1959, which was met with criticism. The early chatter was that many felt Dr. Morrow was under qualified despite his education and study of world affairs, and also because he was a Black man. However, he successfully held the post for two years and in 1961, President John F. Kennedy sent him to France to serve as the first American representative for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Dr. Morrow returned to academics after years of government service and retired in 1978. The Alpha man passed in 2000 at the age of 89. His son, Dr. John H. Morrow Jr., teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the history of Modern Europe and of warfare and society at the University of Georgia.