New York Times
July 13, 1993
by Marvine Howe
Dr. Mark Loren Morris, a pioneer in animal health who developed diets for dogs and cats, died on Thursday at his home in Naples, Fla. He was 92. The cause was atherosclerosis, a disease of the arteries, the family said.
As a veterinarian in Edison, N.J., in the 1930's, Dr. Morris identified the need to adjust nutrient levels to relieve pet ailments and developed special formulas for specific conditions. His research led to the development of Prescription Diet for pets with health problems and Science Diet for healthy pets. Dr. Morris contracted with Hill's Pet Nutrition of Topeka, Kan., in 1948 to make and sell his dietary products worldwide.
Dr. Morris was also founder and lifelong trustee of the Morris Animal Foundation, the largest non-governmental sponsor of companion animal-research in the United States. Since its creation in 1948, the foundation has distributed more than $10 million in grants for health studies involving cats, dogs, horses and wildlife. When the Morris Animal Foundation was established in Englewood, Colo., Dr. Morris said, "For years, pet animals have been used for medical research into human ills, and it is time that something was done for the animals themselves."
Born in Henderson, Colo., Dr. Morris graduated from Colorado State University and received a doctor's degree in veterinary medicine from Cornell University in 1926. Starting his practice in New Brunswick, Dr. Morris founded the Raritan Hospital for Animals in Edison, N.J., in 1928. He developed diets for cats and dogs with ailments like kidney, liver and heart disease, pancreatitis and obesity. Dr. Morris was a founding member and first president of the American Animal Hospital Association in 1933. He also served as president of the American Veterinary Medical Association in 1961-62.
Surviving are his daughter, Ruth Keesling of Englewood, Colo.; a son, Mark Jr. of Topeka, and six grandchildren.