Obituaries : Richard Stetson Morse; Pioneer Scientist in Frozen Food Field

Associated Press

Richard Stetson Morse, a former assistant secretary of the Army and a scientist who oversaw the inventions of frozen orange juice concentrate and other convenience foods, has died. He was 76.

Morse, who served in the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations, died Friday at his summer home. He was a Wellesley, Mass., resident.

Morse founded the Boston-based National Research Corp. in 1940. In 1945, he established the Minute Maid Corp. as a subsidiary of National Research. A year later, Minute Maid began marketing frozen orange juice concentrate.

The inventions that Morse and his staff were credited with include vacuum processes to powder drugs, coated optical lenses, dehydrated food without loss of flavor or vitamins and refining of metals without impurities. National Research also helped develop instant coffee.


After serving as a government adviser on chemical, biological and radiological warfare for several years, Morse left National Research in 1959 to become director of research and development for the Army. His responsibilities were broadened in 1961 and he was made an assistant secretary of the Army.

After he left his assistant secretary post, Morse was named a senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Alfred P. Sloan School of Management and served as a consultant for the departments of Defense and Commerce.

The Abington, Mass., native graduated from MIT in 1933. He also did graduate work in physics at the University of Munich.

Morse is survived by his wife, Marion, two sons and four grandchildren.