Morton Gorn, 75, chairman of development firm

September 23, 2004

Morton Gorn, chairman of a Baltimore County housing and shopping center development firm, died of cancer Monday at University of Maryland Medical Center. The Pikesville resident was 75.

Born in Baltimore and raised on East Lombard Street, he was a 1947 City College graduate and earned a liberal arts degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.

As a young man, Mr. Gorn drove a truck and later became a real estate developer, doing business under the name Gorn Properties. About 35 years ago, he built Horizon House, an apartment building at Calvert and Chase streets, with other family members.

In 1971, his son, Stephen M. Gorn of Reisterstown, and son-in-law, John Colvin of Owings Mills, formed Questar Properties. At the time of his death, Mr. Gorn was its board chairman.

The company developed the residential communities of Avalon on Reisterstown Road in Pikesville, Highpointe in Hunt Valley and Arborview at Riverside in Harford County and Dogwood Station shopping center in Woodlawn, among other projects.

After his daughter was injured in an automobile in 1982, Mr. Gorn became an advocate for people with spinal cord injuries. He served on the board for the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda.

In the mid-1990s, the Pikesville Chamber of Commerce named him Man of the Year.

Mr. Gorn owned and rode Arabian horses. He was also a contributor to animal charities.

"He was an eminently fair man who loved animals as much as he did people," Mr. Colvin said. "He was accomplished in the mercantile world and in social causes as well."

Services were held yesterday.

In addition to his son, survivors include his wife of 55 years, the former Arlene Gisner; a daughter, Karen Colvin of Owings Mills; and four grandchildren.

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