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Morgan Freeman (born June 1, 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee) is an Academy Award-winning American actor and film director.

Career: Freeman first became known in the American media through roles on the PBS kids’ show The Electric Company and on the soap opera Another World. Beginning in the mid 1980s, he would go on to play prominent supporting roles in a number of feature films, and today has earned a reputation for his portrayal of wise, fatherly characters.

Notable past roles have included Hoke, the chauffeur in Driving Miss Daisy, and Red, the gentle convict in the The Shawshank Redemption. Much of his ability derives from his resonant, mellifluous voice, making him a frequent choice as a voice-over narrator for the movies in which he has appeared.

In 1997, Freeman, together with Lori McCreary, founded the movie production company Revelations Entertainment.

After four past nominations, he won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby at the 77th Academy Awards on February 27, 2005.

Personal: Morgan Freeman has been married twice. His first marriage was to Jeanette Adair Bradshaw (October 22, 1967–1979). His second was to Myrna Colley-Lee (June 16, 1984–present). He has two children from each of his wives. His sons’ names are Alphonse and Saifoulaye.

His daughters are Deena (who was adopted) and Morgana. Freeman worked as a mechanic in the U.S. Air Force. He has also earned his private pilot’s license.

Freeman has come out publicly against the celebration of Black History Month, saying that “I don’t want a black history month. Black history is American history.” He says the only way to end racism is to stop talking about it, and he notes that there is no “white history month”. Freeman says “I am going to stop calling you a white man and I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man.”

On October 28, 2006, Freeman was honored at the first Mississippi’s Best Awards in Jackson, Mississippi, with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his works on and off the big screen. He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Arts and Letters from Delta State University during the school’s commencement exercises on May 13, 2006. In 2008 Freeman’s family history was profiled on the PBS series African American Lives 2. A DNA test showed that he is descended from the Songhai and Tuareg peoples of Niger.

In 2004 Freeman and others formed the Grenada Relief Fund to aid people affected by Hurricane Ivan on the island of Grenada. The Grenada Relief Fund has since become PLANIT NOW, an organization that seeks to provide preparedness resources for people living in hurricane and severe-storm afflicted areas.

Freeman has worked on narrating small clips for global organizations, such as One Earth, whose goals include raising awareness of environmental issues. He has narrated the clip “Why Are We Here”, which can be viewed on One Earth’s website.

Freeman endorsed Barack Obama’s candidacy for the United States presidential election, 2008, although he stated that he would not join Obama’s campaign. He narrates for The Hall of Presidents with Barack Obama, who has been added to the exhibit. The Hall of Presidents re-opened on July 4, 2009 at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Freeman has donated money to the Mississippi Horse Park in Starkville, Mississippi. The Horse park is part of Mississippi State University. Freeman has several horses that he takes there.

Freeman was injured in an automobile accident near Ruleville, Mississippi, on the night of August 3, 2008. The vehicle in which he was traveling, a 1997 Nissan Maxima, left the highway and flipped over several times. He and a female passenger, Demaris Meyer, were rescued from the vehicle using the “Jaws of Life”. Freeman was taken via medical helicopter to The Regional Medical Center (The Med) hospital in Memphis. Police ruled out alcohol as a factor in the crash. Freeman was coherent following the crash, as he joked to a photographer about taking his picture at the scene. He broke his shoulder, arm and elbow in the crash and had surgery on August 5, 2008. Doctors operated for four hours to repair nerve damage in his shoulder and arm.

His publicist announced he was expected to make a full recovery. Meyer, his passenger, has sued him for negligence, claiming that he was drinking the night of the accident. She has denied reports that they were romantically involved. In July 2009 Freeman was one of the presenters at the 46664 concert (celebrating Nelson Mandela’s birthday) at Radio City Music Hall, NYC.

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