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Mark L. Morris, Jr.

Dr. Mark Loren Morris, Jr., grew up living above the animal hospital his parents established; his father creating a vision in clinical pet nutrition, his mother making the pet food. He followed in their footsteps and is considered the father of small animal wellness nutrition.

Mark Loren Morris, Jr., was born February 3, 1934, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the son of Dr. Mark L. Morris, Sr. and Louise (Weber) Morris. He earned a degree from the University of Kansas in 1954, and a doctorate’s degree in veterinary medicine from Cornell University in 1958. There he married Bette McGeHee, also a graduate student in the program.

The Morrises returned to Topeka to join the family business. He was soon drafted and served in the U.S. Army veterinary corps. Afterward they went north where he completed a graduate work in veterinary pathology and biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin. Back in Topeka, Dr. Morris joined Hill’s and expanded the Prescription Diet product line, with more than 60 formulas available. He developed the Science Diet product line to meet the need for healthy dogs and cats; with more than 50 brands sold around the world. He became a respected authority on animal nutrition. Through a partnership with the Topeka Zoo, and the family partnership, Theracon, Inc., he developed ZuPreem, a line of products for zoo animals. His son David Morris, continued to expand the line of products for zoo animals.

Dr. Morris was a founding member of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition. He was widely published, he co-authored Small Animal Clinical Nutrition through four editions, which is the definitive textbook for companion animal nutrition. He lectured around the world to practicing veterinarians, veterinary students, and companion animal owners. He was involved in many veterinary associations, and community and civic organizations.

Mark L. Morris, Jr., died January 14, 2007, at the age of 72.

Entry: Mark L. Morris, Jr.

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: January 2018

Date Modified: January 2018

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.