The Missouri House of Representatives and Governor Mike Parson inducted Bass Pro Shops founder and owner Johnny Morris into the Hall of Famous Missourians. Morris and former House Speaker Elijah Hahr, both of Springfield, unveiled the bronze bust of Morris to be permanently displayed inside the state Capitol.
Morris opened his first fishing gear shop in 1972 and has since become a billionaire businessman through Bass Pro and the acquisition of Cabela’s retail outfitter. He continues to invest in new ventures including world-class golf courses, Big Cedar Lodge, and the Wonders Of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium. Morris is also known for his conservation work, through the Johnny Morris Foundation.
“I’m not here to just talk about what he has done, but what is he going to do for the state of Missouri,” Parson said at the ceremony. “Every time I turn the corner, there is some new adventure.”
In his acceptance speech, Morris shared stories and videos of some of his favorite outdoor scenes, including a fishing trip with fellow Missourian, country singer Porter Wagner.
“I tell people this all the time, I can’t think of a better place that anybody could start any kind of business, than, in my case, Springfield, Missouri. Because where else can you find people who have such pride that Missourians have. I mean it runs deep.” Morris said.
LISTEN TO ENTIRE SPEECH (13:00)