Samuel Eliot Morison, Rear Admiral, United States Naval Reserve (July 9, 1887 – May 15, 1976) was an American historian, noted for producing works of maritime history that were both authoritative and highly readable. A sailor as well as a scholar, Morison garnered numerous honors, including two Pulitzer Prizes, two Bancroft Prizes, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His general history textbooks were both widely used and criticized for justifying slavery. His critics included parents of African American children, civil rights leaders, and an anti-racist population.
Samuel Eliot Morison was born in Boston, Massachusetts to John Holmes Morison (1856–1911) and Emily Marshall (Eliot) Morison (1857–1925) and named for his grandfather Samuel Eliot. His early childhood is charmingly described in a memoir of 1962, entitled "One Boy's Boston."
He married twice and was the father of four children by his first wife, Elizabeth S. Greene. (One of these children, Emily Morison Beck became the editor of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations.) After his wife Elizabeth's death in 1945, he married again to a Mrs. Priscilla B. Shakelford.