Garrett Morgan (Inventor) – Bio, Birthday, Family, Age & Born
Garrett Morgan

Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr. was an African-American inventor, businessman, and community leader. His most notable inventions were a three position traffic signal and a smoke hood notably used in a 1916 tunnel construction disaster rescue. Morgan also discovered and developed a chemical hair-processing and straightening solution. He created a successful company based on his hair product inventions along with a complete line of hair-care products, and became involved in the civic and political advancement of African-Americans, especially in and around Cleveland, Ohio.

Born: Garret Augustus Morgan, March 4, 1877, Claysville, Kentucky, United States
Died: July 27, 1963, Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Other names: Big Chief Mason
Occupation: entrepreneur
Known for: Inventing a type of traffic light

About Garrett Morgan

African American inventor of the three-position traffic signal and one of the first gas masks, which he called a Safety Hood. He made a heroic rescue in 1916 when he and three others used his safety hood device to save workers trapped in a water intake tunnel being dug under Lake Erie after a natural gas explosion and fire.

Before Fame

He hired his own tutor with the wages he earned as a handyman for a rich Cincinnati landowner.


He was the first African American living in Cleveland, Ohio to buy and own an automobile.

Family Life

He married his second wife, Mary Anne Hassek, in 1908 and had three children.


He and George Washington Carver were both listed in Molefi Kete Asante’s 2002 book of 100 Greatest African Americans.

Information related to Garrett Morgan

  • Traffic signals
  • African-American inventors
  • History of Cleveland
  • Burials at Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland

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