Multifamily developer, Holocaust survivor Bill Morgan dies at 98

Grew Houston-based construction company into multibillion-dollar developer with national scope

Multifamily Developer, Holocaust Survivor Bill Morgan has Died
Multifamily developer, Holocaust survivor Bill Morgan (X, formerly Twitter)

Bill Morgan, a Holocaust survivor and founder of Houston-based multifamily developer Morgan Group, has died. He was 98.

Morgan died Oct. 15 in Houston, the Houston Business Journal reported.

He was born to a Jewish family in Poland in 1925 and  named Wolf Youssela Marguiles. When he was 16, in 1941, he and his family were sent to the Stanislawow ghetto, where he was forced to dig graves for his fellow prisoners. 

He escaped the ghetto, never to see his family again. He survived the Holocaust by posing as a farm laborer under the identity of a Christian co-worker. 

Morgan came to the United States in 1949, working as a busboy and janitor in Iowa. He learned English by watching cowboy movies, which drew him to Houston. 

Morgan started Globe Construction and Management Company in 1959, building a few rental homes. That eventually became the Morgan Group, which is one the largest multifamily development companies in Houston.

His two sons, Mike and Ronnie, incorporated Morgan Inc. in 1987, and over the following decades, it grew into a multibillion-dollar national company. The firm has developed more than 15,000 apartment units across nine states, according to its website.

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Mike Morgan bought out his brother in 2011 and rebranded as the Morgan Group.

Bill Morgan’s grandson, Phillip, stepped into the CEO role in 2020.

Morgan was also a philanthropist and advocate for Holocaust education. He was a founding member of the Holocaust Museum Houston, and instrumental in its construction. He served on the board of the Houston Holocaust Museum and Education Center, and was a major donor to the museum.

“Bill Morgan was a remarkable man who overcame tremendous adversity to build a successful business and give back to the community,” the Morgan Group said in a news release. “He was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather, and his legacy will live on through his family and the many lives he touched.”

Morgan is survived by his wife, Shirley, with whom he had five children, and 14 grandchildren. 

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