James H. Morrison Lecture

Jimmy Morrison

James Hobson Morrison was born in Hammond, Louisiana, on December 8, 1908. His parents
were Benjamin M. Morrison, a local merchant and banker, and Florence Hobson of Greensboro,
Alabama. He had two sisters, Sally Pearson (Mrs. Harry B. Lee) and Margaret Williams
(Mrs. Benjamin E. Pierce). His uncle, Richmond Pearson Hobson, was a Spanish-American
War naval hero and later served in Congress from Alabama.

Morrison was educated in the public schools of Hammond and received his law degree
from Tulane University in 1934. That same year he was admitted to the bar and began
his law practice in Hammond. In 1937, as attorney for the newly organized Louisiana
Farmers Protective Union, he composed their charter and began a promotion campaign
for them which made him the hero of union members in the strawberry belt.

In 1940 Morrison married Marjorie Abbey of Webb, Mississippi. They have two sons,
James Hobson, Jr., and Benjamin Abbey. Drawn to politics as a career, Morrison ran
unsuccessfully for state senator in 1936 and for governor in 1940 and 1944, but his
race for a seat in the seventy-eighth Congress was successful. He was reelected eleven
times, serving from January 3, 1943 until January 3, 1967 as Representative from Louisiana’s
Sixth District.

In retirement, Morrison practiced law in his hometown where he was active in civic
affairs. He donated his Congressional papers to Southeastern Louisiana University’s
Archives and Special Collections. His invaluable photographic collection of national
leaders, family, friends, campaigns, and other events, and furnishings from his Congressional
office, are on display on the third floor of Linus A. Sims Memorial Library in the
Morrison Room.

A patron of the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies and supporter of Southeastern
Louisiana University, “Mr. Jimmie” succumbed to a long illness on July 20, 2000. In
1995, Dr. John Miller, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, inaugurated a lecture
series honoring the long-time Florida Parishes congressman.

Each year, the James H. Morrison Lecture on Politics and Government presents national,
state and local political leaders exploring critical and topical events pertaining
to public policy. Sponsored by the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies along with
the College of Arts and Sciences, the Morrison lecture honors the late James H. “Jimmy”
Morrison, the Hammond native who represented Louisiana’s Sixth Congressional District
in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1943-1967.

Previous speakers of the Morrison Lecture Series have included U.S. Senators John
Breaux and Mary Landrieu, U.S. Representatives W.J. “Billy” Tauzin, state Senators
John Hainkel and Melvin “Kip” Holden, state Representative Henry “Tank” Powell, Public
Service Commissioner Jack A. “Jay” Blossman, international financier Maurice Templesman
and Congresswoman Lindy Boggs.