Charles Dexter Morris (1883-1954) was a news editor for the Near East Relief from 1921-1924. He has been credited for taking some of the most recognizable photos depicting the final phase of the Greek Genocide. He was born in Eldred, Pennsylvania and received his early education in Olean, N.Y. He graduated with a B.A at Yale University in 1906 and later took courses in journalism at Columbia University. In 1909 he became city editor of the Associated Press news agency in New York and during the First World War (1914-1918) he was a member of the Associated Press staff in London. For the next three years he was in charge of the news and publicity service of the American Red Cross in London and Paris.
He arrived in Constantinople on Jan 27, 1922 and was the news editor of the Near East Relief Commission in Turkey, Greece and nearby areas up until 1924 when he returned to New York to join the staff of the International New Service. He also wrote articles for The New York Times magazine section, the Saturday Evening Post and other magazines. In 1923, he was awarded the Cross of Saint Xavier by King George of Greece for his work in that country as news director and of the Near East Relief Commission.1 In 1920, he was awarded the order of the third class by King Nicholas of Montenegro for his work in the Red Cross.2
Some of his photos
The photo below originally appeared in the December 1922 issue of the New Near East magazine and has often been used to depict the experience of Greeks during the genocide. The article in question is titled 5,000 Children Trek 500 Miles to Safety and describes the 500 mile pilgrimage of 5,000 children from Near East Relief orphanages in Harput (Turkey) to orphanages in Syria. The same photo also appeared in a November 1925 National Geographic article titled History's Greatest Trek.
Another of his photos depicts a sombre scene following the Smyrna Holocaust in September 1922. The photo shows a group of men being rounded up before being sent to the interior of Turkey. This photo also appeared in the November 1925 issue of National Geographic. It's original cation was: Weeding out Men for Deportation: Smyrna. Beneath the caption, the following text appears: After the fire these unfortunates, being between the age limits of 17 and 45 years, were not permitted to leave Smyrna with their families, but were sent back to the interior of Anatolia.
The photo below was also published in the 1925 National Geographic article and was taken at Patras, Greece. The caption of the photo reads: Samsun Refugees at Patras, Greece, Starting for the Interior. Beneath the title, the following text appears: Many of these Asia Minor refugees from the Black Sea port have found work among the currant vineyards and olive groves of the Peloponnesus, of which Patras, fourth city of Greece, is the chief seaport.
1. The National cyclopædia of American biography. New York, James T. White and Co, 1962, pp. 269-270.
2. Americans Honored by King Nicholas. The Chickasha daily express., February 20, 1920.
Portrait photo source: Find a Grave, accessed 27 March 2020), memorial page for Charles Dexter Morris (1883–1954), Find a Grave Memorial no. 21179369.