Friends and politicians remember businessman and former state senator Johnny Morgan

Published: May. 18, 2023 at 7:44 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Businessman and former State Senator Johnny Morgan died in a plane crash in Arkansas Wednesday.

WLBT went to those who knew him to get a better picture of who he was and why social media quickly flooded with tributes to him.

Johnny Morgan laid out a path of influence that was unmistakable.

“That loss is significant to Mississippi, both not just political and economical loss for what he did,” said Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann. “But [also] the loss of his personality and the things that he thought were important in North Mississippi to get all of those people together and have them headed in the same direction. It’s a great loss for the state.”

Those political relationships were rooted in friendship.

“I don’t know of a person who had a wider circle of friends in the entire state of Mississippi,” explained Sen. Roger Wicker who says he first met Morgan in high school. “He was a larger-than-life character. People enjoy being around him, he had a huge personality. And he’s going to be missed.”

“He got along with everybody,” described MDOT Executive Director Brad White. “And he was, as I said, an institution that goes so far back that he bridges the gap between when Mississippi was a Democratic-controlled state to a Republican-controlled state. And elected officials and party officials and local activists from both parties, I think, shared a close relationship with him and close friendships that allowed him to be very unique, and be able to help his community and help his neighbor and get things done.”

The marriage of all things he held dear became most apparent at the Good Ole Boys and Gal’s political event he hosted in at his metal barn off Highway 7 in Oxford.

“He really made you feel at home,” noted Sen. Chad McMahan about the events. “It was how he represented southern hospitality at its finest.”

“Life is very short,” added Hosemann. “And Johnny got every last minute of it, I’m positive that anybody is offered on this planet. And he left a tremendous legacy.”

Lt. Governor Hosemann had just visited with Johnny Morgan Tuesday night, the night before his accident.

He says he hopes people mourn for a few days but turn their attention to celebrating a life well lived.

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