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Longtime UND language professor William Morgan dies at 85

UND Professor Emeritus of Languages William Morgan, who served in World War II as a German translator for the Allies before moving on to attain academic degrees in the language, died Tuesday in Altru Hospital. He was 85.

UND Professor Emeritus of Languages William Morgan, who served in World War II as a German translator for the Allies before moving on to attain academic degrees in the language, died Tuesday in Altru Hospital. He was 85.

Morgan started at UND in 1953 as an assistant professor. He chaired the UND Languages Department from 1963 to 1967. Morgan attained full professor status in 1974 and retired in 1987.

Morgan was born Oct. 26, 1922 in Burlington, Iowa, to Charles and Betty Morgan. He graduated from Burlington High School in 1941, and spent two years at Burlington Junior College before joining the military.

Morgan served in the Army during World War II from 1943 to 1946. It was in the latter part of his service that he was used as a German interpreter by the Allied forces. He would say later, in an interview with the Grand Forks Herald, that it was his experience as a military interpreter that spurred him to pursue teaching German as a profession.

Morgan attended the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where he graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in German in 1948. He would go on to earn his Ph.D. in German at the University of Iowa in 1951.

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Morgan was preceded in death by his parents; it is unclear whether he has any surviving relatives.

No formal ceremonies have been scheduled. Interment proceedings will be handled by Grand Forks County.

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