A militant and witty crusader for individual freedom, social justice and competitive enterprises, Morgan L. Fitch* was chosen to head the National Association in 1947. The year saw great steps taken to restore freedom of enterprise and normal production in the real estate and building industry. Working in cooperation with other groups in the field, the Association won the first rounds for a cushioned decontrol of residential rents.
New housing construction was freed from rent control and from other remaining wartime restrictions. Certain rent increases were permitted -- the first since the war ceilings went on. These common sense measures staved off the vast public housing program urged in a Presidential message and introduced by the policy chief of the party controlling Congress. Construction of homes and apartments took an immediate contra-seasonal spurt to record-breaking monthly totals. Commercial and industrial construction was opened up as well.
Mr. Fitch was born in Chicago. He had just completed his high school work on Chicago's south side when he entered the United States Army in World War I. After service in the Army, he completed his studies at the University of Illinois, working his way through school as advertising manager of a large menswear store in Champaign. He entered the real estate business in 1922.
Mr. Fitch was president of the Charles Ringer Company, Chicago. The company, founded in 1900, sold and serviced subdivisions, and financed the construction of more than 5,000 residential units. It was active in sales and property management. Mr. Fitch was also president of the South Shore Securities Company, which was engaged in installment financing. He was president of the Cheltenham Theatre Building Corporation and also a director of the South Chicago Savings Bank.
He served as president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® in 1940 and the Illinois Association of REALTORS® in 1943, taking an active role in real estate tax reform issues. He served the National Association as vice president and, in 1946, as chairman of a record-breaking membership committee.
Source: Presidents of the National Association of REALTORS®, (Chicago: NAR, 1980).