Morgan Cline

Morgan Cline portrait.

Morgan Cline was a noted philanthropist, entrepreneur, advertising executive, and real estate preservationist.

Born in Exline, Iowa, Morgan graduated from Exline High School as valedictorian in 1949. He studied pharmacy at Drake University and graduated with honors in 1953. Morgan attended two years of medical school at Iowa University and then enlisted in the Army. After spending two years in the Army, followed by three years as a drugstore pharmacist, Morgan entered the world of advertising, where he leveraged his medical expertise and focused on the healthcare industry.

After great success with a number of well-known agencies in New York, he co-founded the Cline, Davis & Mann advertising agency. Over the course of 17 years, the company grew from a kitchen-table boutique to a dominant force responsible for the advertising launch of both Viagra and Lipitor, two of the most successful pharmaceutical product launches of all time. Morgan set the tone at the company by living an extraordinary and principled business life, based on the simple values of hard work, demanding standards, loyalty and generosity.

In addition to his success in advertising, Morgan had a magic touch for real estate and was a generous philanthropist. He and his partner of 52 years, Benjamin D'Onofrio, were actively involved in a number of philanthropic and historical preservation endeavors throughout their lives. In Appanoose County, Morgan's generosity and restoration transformed a number of historic buildings into places of civic vitality and pride, including The Continental Hotel, Bradley Hall, and The Majestic Theater. He also funded a community sports complex and park, a dialysis center, and a number of projects in his hometown of Exline.

The Morgan E. Cline Foundation was established upon his death in 2014 to continue Morgan's legacy of philanthropy in Appanoose County.