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Ralph Sedley Morton was born in 1908 in Bedford, Nova Scotia, to Dr. Angus McDonald and Bessie A. Morton. He was educated at Dalhousie University, where he received his BA (1929) and LLB (1931). Morton was a founding member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity chapter and served as class president, business manager of The Gazette and editor of the yearbook. He was also an active writer, actor and debater.
In 1930 Morton received a one-year scholarship to study journalism at the University of London. His subsequent journalism career took him to Boston, New York and Australia. He became a correspondent for both the Canadian Press and the Associated Press, founded and edited New England’s Canadian News, and established the Dartmouth Free Press, which he operated from 1954-1970s. As its associate editor, he played a pivotal role in the success of Kenneth Leslie’s Protestant Digest. He also authored a number of plays, including My Father was a Doctor, Reunion in Jakarta, and Sam Slick Rides Again, in addition to a book on the Nova Scotia Legislature.