During this time at the University of Alabama, Morris didn't pay much
attention to the Civil Rights movement after Autherine Lucy and Emmett
Till. He was too busy dealing with his own life to worry about anything
Beverly had already given birth to their first son, Morris III also
known as "scooter". Morris and Beverly were supported by their parents
and what little they had. Thus, Morris was busy trying to get good grades
and make good money to support his own family as much as he could.
He got an idea for making money soon. His mother sent him a fruitcake
for his birthday. He decided that a lot of kids must have been homesick
as many did not return home for the summers. So he wrote to students'
parents and offered to deliver fresh birthday cakes. The business was
called the 'Bama Birthday Cake Service and the response from kids on
campus was great. About 20 percent of the families of the student body
ordered cakes through them and Morris sold about 350 cakes a month and
profited about three dollars each cake.
During this time, a lot of his sales was done through the mail. From
here, he learned how to write sales in the mail, design offers, and
to mail at the best times. Also during this time, student named Millard
Fuller joined his business. The two teamed up and they had business
by the time of graduation. The business did everything from fund raising
to real estate. Millard had also grown up in Alabama and he was much
like Morris. His father too was a farmed and he ran a country store
too. Millard's father wanted him to go to college to become a lawyer
as well. Morris and Millard were very much similar.
Also beginning around this time, Morris became interested in politics.
Since he was a boy, his father knew many prominent people in Alabama.
When Morris was 21 he qualified to run for delegate to the state democratic
convention. But being naive, he joined the wrong faction both of which
had similar names. Having been warned by one of his father's friends,
he dropped out of it. But he did get involved in fund raising and already
had a job opening as an assistant attorney general to McGallion, the
democratic Attorney General who won the 1958 election. But Morris refused
the job. He didn't want to get involved in politics. Yes, he would have
a great job but as soon as the next election came, it was very likely
that he would be out of a job. Voters would control his future and he
wanted to control his own future.
Law and Business
When Morris Dees and Millard Fuller graduated from law school they were
already making more money than young lawyers their age made. They debated
on whether to continue business or to do law. They decided to do both.
They sold some buildings, passed some of the business to others and
went to Montgomery, Alabama. By now, 1958, Beverly had given birth to
their second son, Johnny. Morris bought a new 1960 ford and a three
bedroom house in Mount Meigs for his family.