KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Morton Irvin Sosland, who led Sosland Publishing Co. for several decades and was a revered figure in the Kansas City and grain-based foods business communities, has died at the age of 93. Sosland was returning to Kansas City April 25 from a Continental Grain Co. board of directors meeting in New York and was stricken while riding home. He died soon afterward at Truman Medical Center.
Sosland attended Bryant elementary school and Southwest High, began his freshman year at Harvard in 1942 and in 1943 enlisted in the Army. He began military service in the horse cavalry at Fort Riley, Kansas, and was assigned to the 13th Armored Division, Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, which went to Europe soon after the invasion of France and ended the war near Salzburg, Austria. He immediately returned to Harvard and in June 1946 married Estelle Jane Glatt, his fiancé and friend of many years.
Completing his education in a shortened post-war curriculum, Sosland joined Sosland Publishing Company in 1947, where he worked initially under the direction of his uncle, Samuel Sosland, one of the three brothers who founded the company and its The Southwestern Miller weekly magazine in 1922. Active as a publisher and editor for most of his 72 years with the company, he also created and wrote much of the editorial pages for several sister publications of MEAT+POULTRY and was an inspirational advisor to its team of editors.
Beyond his involvement with the family’s publishing business, he divided his time among a number of different endeavors. He served on the board of directors of both leading public and private companies, many with Kansas City roots. He maintained a commitment to civic improvement and had a role for years in several organizations like Midwest Research Institute and the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation. He fostered his family’s efforts to maintain and strengthen Kansas City’s Jewish community, serving himself as head of several agencies and groups. He similarly reflected his family’s belief in the importance of arts and culture, mainly by affirming the role of his wife, his son and other family members in important local arts organizations. In support of his family and younger generations, he for years managed family investing that often included start-ups as well as a range of other opportunities local, nationally and in other countries.
Sosland is survived by his wife of 72 years; three children, Amy Brown of West Sussex, England; Elizabeth J. Sosland, of New York; and Charles S. Sosland (wife Jeanne) of Kansas City; grandchildren Andrew Brown (Kate), Meyer Sosland (Mindy), Sarah Sosland (Benton Smith) and Sophie Sosland (Ryan Reich); six great grandchildren; a brother Neil Sosland (Blanche) and a sister Susan Kraner (Richard).
Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 1, at Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway Boulevard, Kansas City, with burial at Mount Carmel Cemetery.
Memorials are preferred to Harvesters, 3801 Topping Ave., Kansas City, MO, 64129.