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Rose Morgan

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Information about Rose Morgan

Profile image of Rose Morgan

Profession

Category:
StyleMakers
Occupation(s):
Personal Care Entrepreneur
Beautician

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Red
Favorite Food:
Salad
Favorite Time of Year:
July, August
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Florida, Atlantic City
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
8/9/1912
Birth Location:
Edward, Mississippi

Profession

Category:
StyleMakers
Occupation(s):
Personal Care Entrepreneur
Beautician

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Red
Favorite Food:
Salad
Favorite Time of Year:
July, August
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Florida, Atlantic City
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
8/9/1912
Birth Location:
Edward
See how Rose Morgan is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Born in Edward, Mississippi in 1912, Rose Meta Morgan grew up in Chicago. By 1942, she owned and operated the largest African American beauty parlor in the world. Following the business example of her father, industrious former sharecropper Chaptle Morgan, Morgan began making artificial flowers and convincing neighborhood children to sell them door-to-door at 10. Her skills with hair flowered into a business by age 14.

After attending Morris School of Beauty, Morgan rented a booth in a neighborhood salon and began working full-time. In 1938, she styled the hair of singer/actress Ethel Waters and impressed her so much that Morgan was invited to New York City as Waters' guest. Awed by the city's glamour, Morgan moved there and within six months had established enough customers to open her own beauty shop. Soon, she hired five stylists and signed a ten-year lease on a vacant, dilapidated mansion. By 1946, the Rose Meta House of Beauty had a staff of 29, including 20 hairstylists, three licensed masseurs, and a registered nurse.

Morgan opposed notions of beauty, which hold that kinky hair is bad, believing there is beauty in everyone. She began marketing her own line of cosmetics and staging fashion shows. With her ever-increasing success, Morgan bought a new building. In 1955, Rose Morgan's House of Beauty opened in a more stylish setting with a dressmaking department and a charm school in addition to the existing salon facilities. In the early 1960s, she added a wig salon. Over time, she employed and trained over 3,000 people.

In 1965, Morgan was one of the founders of New York's only black-owned commercial bank, the Freedom National Bank. She retired in the 1970s. Morgan continues to exercise every day and care for her health and beauty.


Contributions of Black Women to America, vol. 1. Kenday Press, 1982.
Ebony Success Library, vol. 1. Johnson Publishing, p. 228.
Notable Black American Women. Gale, 1992, p. 769.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Rose Morgan's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Rose Morgan talks about her father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Rose Morgan talks about her father's experience in Edwards, Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Rose Morgan talks about her mother's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Rose Morgan talks about taking after her parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Rose Morgan shares her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Rose Morgan describes her siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Rose Morgan lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Rose Morgan describes working during her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Rose Morgan talks about learning to do hair as a child
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Rose Morgan describes her family life growing up in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Rose Morgan talks about her education at Morris Beauty Academy in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Rose Morgan talks about working as a hair stylist and moving to New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Rose Morgan describes moving to New York to start her own hair salon
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Rose Morgan describes the differences between Chicago, Illinois and New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Rose Morgan talks about starting her business in New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Rose Morgan describes the techniques she developed in styling hair
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Rose Morgan describes her clients in Harlem, New York in the 1930s and 1940s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Rose Morgan talks about her business
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Rose Morgan describes the expansion of her salon in New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Rose Morgan describes Sugar Hill, Harlem, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Rose Morgan remembers the construction of Rose Meta House of Beauty, 401 West 148th Street, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Rose Morgan describes the experience her salon, Rose Meta House of Beauty, offered her clients
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Rose Morgan describes developing her process of styling hair
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Rose Morgan talks about developing her curling technique and training her employees
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Rose Morgan talks about the success of her growing business in the 1940s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Rose Morgan talks about her clientele, which included Lena Horne and Diahann Carroll
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Rose Morgan describes her clients that included Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Rose Morgan talks about managing her employees at her beauty salons
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Rose Morgan recalls her favorite client, Diahann Carroll
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Rose Morgan describes her philosophy about black hair
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Rose Morgan talks about her styling techniques and treatments
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Rose Morgan talks about products she developed and marketed in her salons
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Rose Morgan talks about developing her business and management style
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Rose Morgan reflects on the difficulty of running such a large business
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Rose Morgan describes an average day of running her business in the 1940s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Rose Morgan talks about the national expansion of her business
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Rose Morgan talks about the fashion shows she produced at her salons
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Rose Morgan describes the beauty business community in New York in the 1940s and 1950s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Rose Morgan describes the production of her hair and fashion shows
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Rose Morgan talks about her involvement with 100 Black Women and Ebony Magazine
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Rose Morgan describes her philosophy of beauty
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Rose Morgan talks about securing funds to expand her business in the 1950s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Rose Morgan reflects on her view of glamor and style
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Rose Morgan remembers meeting her future husband, Joe Louis, in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Rose Morgan talks about her relationship and marriage to Joe Louis from 1955 to 1958
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Rose Morgan describes the annulment of her marriage in 1958
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Rose Morgan talks about how her business shifted through the 1960s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Rose Morgan describes her international travels in the 1960s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Rose Morgan talks about starting Freedom National Bank in 1965
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Rose Morgan talks about her relationship with Jacoby Dickens, Chairman of the Board of Seaway Bank
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Rose Morgan talks about how business in New York was different than in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Rose Morgan reflects on the changing trends in women's style over her career
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Rose Morgan discusses trends in the African American beauty industry
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Rose Morgan describes her business philosophy, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Rose Morgan describes her business philosophy, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Rose Morgan talks about her management style
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Rose Morgan talks about the of closing her salon and her retirement in 1973
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Rose Morgan talks about her father's pride in her accomplishments, and her family's working together
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Rose Morgan reflects on becoming a successful businesswoman in New York
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Rose Morgan reflects on her legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Rose Morgan talks about her family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Rose Morgan talks about her hopes and concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Rose Morgan reflects on her influence on black culture
  • Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Rose Morgan narrates her photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Rose Morgan narrates her photographs, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Rose Morgan narrates her photographs, pt. 3
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Rose Morgan narrates her photographs, pt. 4
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Rose Morgan narrates her photographs, pt. 5