Biography: Young Man
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Morris Dees Jr. had a lot going for him. His parents had high expectations for him as a boy who graduated as valedictorian from his junior high school. His parents, especially his father had high hopes for him to acquire and accomplish a better life than he himself had known.

But Morris Dees didn't necessarily want to go down that path. Religion had always been a part of his life. His family helped build the Pike Road Baptist Church which he attended frequently. He wanted to preach. He thought about being a preacher as a young teenager. And throughout much of his life, he at least wanted to preach part time.

Morris was also a farmer. As a small boy he had delivered papers. He had picked bottles of cola off Pike Road and turned them in at the corner store for change. He saved all this money up until he had enough money to purchase a bull. He purchased a bull from a neighbor and bred it with one of his father's bulls. Then he fattened them up and sold them. Soon he had more money. As he had more money, he also bred and sold pigs and chickens. By senior year, he was dressing 250 chickens a week and earning himself nearly $5000 a year. He worked at his business very diligently rising often before dawn to feed the animals. At the time. Pigs weighing up to 80 pounds were sold for five dollars. He fattened them up to over 210 pounds and sold them for forty-five dollars. And he did this all for free. During his lunch break, he went over the cafeteria and collected four fifty-gallon barrels of scraps from the lunchroom. The staff allowed him to take the scraps so long as he returned the barrels clean the next morning, which he did.

High School Sweetheart
In September 1954, Morris Dees Jr. entered his senior year of high school. He had chosen to go to a vocational school instead with less academic courses despite his academic talent. That year, a girl named Beverly Crum entered her sophomore year of high school. She was a slender girl dressed with a blouse and skirt topped off with a black pony tail. She had come from Kentucky where her relatives owned a horse ranch. Her father was a colonel in Air War College which meant a lot of moving for the family. Beverly and Morris shared something in common, their love for the farm. From the first time they meant next to a radiator, they adored each other. After a few dates, Morris brought her over to Mount Meigs and introduced her to his parents. She was amazed at their farm and wanted one of her own. And most of all, she wanted roots. The Dees approved of her.



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