A Short Biography of Campus Cutie Kevin Morrissey

Here is the biography of Campus Cutie Kevin Morrissey that my older brother Sanchez found in our local library! He even broke it up into sections for us! There are a lot of interesting facts in it!

Kevin Morrissey in 2011, signing autographs in Guam

Kevin Morrissey, commonly known as Campus Cutie Kevin Morrissey, is an international media personality widely considered the preeminent expert on stuff. Born in 1990, Kevin Morrissey rose to fame in 1997 as the youngest ever elephant polo player in the world. His unlikely journey as an elephant polo player and his adventures thereafter became the subject of the New York Times bestselling book "To Dance with Glory: The Kevin Morrissey Story" and the movie based on the novel, "Avatar." In the years after his initial fame and success, he dedicated his life to charitable causes and job creation in India. In 2004, he started a program to help disadvantaged Indian women prepare and pay for college educations in the United States.

Two years later, he opened a black bean canning factory in Mumbai. Recognized internationally for his innovative fair pay and work environment in a third world country, his Morrissey Bean Co. boomed and spawned six additional factories in cities across India. Morrissey sold the company in 2008 in order to focus on his college career at Tufts University, as well as his acceptance into the IUSG (International Union of Stuff Guys). During his time at Tufts, he was also knighted in the order of Campus Cuties. He later became known for his contributions to the direct-to-TV advertising industry, inventing such products as the Snuggie and the Magic Bullet. In addition to his industrial endeavors, Morrissey is known for being a founding member of Kevin Morrissey with A Cat Named Walrus featuring Dave Grohl, the Grammy Award winning supergroup.

Early Life

Morrissey was born on June 17, 1990 in the skies above Rochester, New York. His parents were free climbing a cliff in a remote area of upstate New York and had to request air evacuation after his mother's water broke on the cliff as she watched a family of bears rip the tires and engine out of their car located at the base of the cliff 279 feet below. On the helicopter ride to the University of Rochester Medical Center, Kevin was born.

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Kevin with childhood best friend, snowboarder Shaun White

Morrissey's early years were very similar to the traditional suburban American child's. However, this changed drastically in 1996 upon his involvement in the Delta Airlines Kolkata disaster. He and his accelerated learning class were scheduled to take a week-long educational trip to Florida to learn about astrophysics, but he instead wandered onto airline flight 699Q3 to Kolkata, India due to the aura of the women onboard. As was widely reported in the media surrounding this infamous flight's crash, one man's pet tiger escaped from its cage after being administered methamphetamine instead of a sedative and ripped a hole in the hull of the plane. The loss in cabin pressure caused multiple luggage bags to be sucked out of the plane and into the left wing engine, causing a massive explosion and sending the plane careening out of the sky and into the jungles of central India. As one of only a handful of survivors, the six year-old Morrissey was quickly separated from the group and spent three days foraging for food in the wilderness while looking for a trace of civilization. A family of Asian elephants then found Morrissey using a tool constructed out of wood and panther teeth to knock off high-hanging fruit from trees and deemed him worthy of their help. They quickly adopted him as a part of their group, teaching him the ways of the jungle.

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Kevin with his team's doctor/coach, after his first IEPA injury

Morrissey lived with this family of elephants for seven weeks before they were found by elephant polo talent scouts looking for new pachyderm recruits. Upon seeing his bond with the elephants, they became convinced that Kevin could help them win lucrative new endorsements as the new face of elephant polo. This proved to be true, as he became the youngest player ever in the International Elephant Polo Association (IEPA) and helped lead his team to victory in the Elephant Polo World Cup. He ended his season as the top scorer in the league, winning rookie of the year and earning a starting spot in the 1997 IEPA pro-bowl. His newfound fame reached his family, who were overjoyed to learn that Kevin was alive and well. They successfully won the landmark international court case Morrissey v. IEPA in The Hague, allowing Kevin to finally return home to the U.S.

Morrissey's story was immortalized in Dan Brown's bestseller, "To Dance with Glory: The Kevin Morrissey Story" and adapted in 2009 as the primary plot for James Cameron's modern classic, "Avatar." At the 82nd Academy Awards, he received an honorary Academy Award for his celebrated contributions to cinema despite not actually taking any direct role in the production of Avatar.

Charity and Morrissey Bean Co.

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Morrissey Elephant Reserve and Polo Training Academy, 2001

Kevin finally returned to his normal life in Rochester, but his heart still remained in India. Seeing firsthand the impoverished conditions of some areas of India, he set out to form a number of charitable and philanthropic organizations to help improve life there. His first effort focused on improving the life of the elephant community by opening the Morrissey Elephant Reserve and Polo Training Academy in 2000. This 80 square mile area serves as a refuge for dozens of Asian Elephants as well as an elephant polo training school for the most ambitious and athletic elephants. Acceptance into this school depends on performance on a physical test and a score above 700 on the Elephant Aptitude Test (EAT). The academy has since produced a number of major elephant polo stars, including four time Gold Tusk winner Stompy.

In 2004, Morrissey's charitable causes turned from elephant education towards human education. After forming a number of youth ultimate frisbee leagues in various Indian cities, he created the Dreams Across Borders Fund. This program provided tutoring, college application assistance, and scholarships to Indian women without the means to pursue college themselves. The fund partnered with several universities in the United States to help educate hundreds of Indian women.

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Kevin, 14, after a Dreams Across Borders speech at the U.N.

Morrissey did not stop at philanthropy, however. In 2006, he formed Morrissey Bean Co. in an effort to provide a number of good, stable jobs for the community of Mumbai. In addition to supplying the people of India with nutritious black beans, his canning factory in Mumbai created 6,000 new jobs. After opening Morrissey Bean Co. received strong support from the International Labor Organization, Amnesty International, and the International Red Cross through providing high wages and comfortable working conditions. The company was also featured in Bloomberg, Time Magazine, and the Economist as an example of a successful company operating in a third-world area without exploiting the workforce. Morrissey opened six more factories in different cities in India between the years of 2006 and 2008. He stepped down as president and CEO of Morrissey Bean Co. in 2008 upon his acceptance to Tufts University in order to focus on his academic career. In recognition of the impact he had on the community, Morrissey was awarded the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honor in India.

Tufts and the IUSG

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Morrissey at a Tufts event with his two dates and his driver
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Morrissey in his first Campus Cutie photo shoot, circa 2009
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Kevin in his most recent Campus Cutie photo shoot, 2013

Morrissey enrolled in the Tufts University school of Engineering as an electrical engineering major in 2008. While at Tufts, he participated in many activities outside of his coursework, including Tufts Dance Collective and Tufts Ultimate Frisbee. However, he became best known as a recipient of the prestigious Campus Cutie Award and subsequent inductee into the Order of Campus Cuties (OCC). Morrissey was first noticed by a Campus Cutie talent scout in the fall of his freshman year, though it was unknown to him. His actions were reviewed by several more scouts over the semester, as is the standard Campus Cutie procedure, before he was officially nominated for the Campus Cutie Award. Once the OCC put forth his nomination, the vote was put to the wider campus population. For the first time in the recorded history of Campus Cuties, Morrissey won in a unanimous vote. He became the only Campus Cutie inductee from Tufts in 2009, as nobody else could manage to pull votes away from him. Morrissey, always humble, only reluctantly began to accept his now popular nickname "Campus Cutie Kevin Morrissey" after students and professors refused to call him by anything other than this affectionate title. Throughout his collegiate career, he was regularly involved in OCC charitable activities. In 2010, he helped the OCC raise $7.4 million on "Hug Campus Cutie Kevin Morrissey for $5 Day", which was used for renovations and new polo equipment for the Morrissey Elephant Reserve. Morrissey was named as a Regional Vice Chairman of the Order of Campus Cuties in 2011.

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Morrissey with fellow IUSG members, including Dave Grohl

In the summer before his freshman year at Tufts, Morrissey received an invitation to join the International Union of Stuff Guys (IUSG). The IUSG is an international group of people who are widely accepted to be "Stuff Guys," or individuals who excel at everything they attempt and need very little experience before mastering anything. The IUSG typically requires a minimum age of 30 before being initiated, but Morrissey was made an exception due to his successful athletic, industrial, and humanitarian efforts at such a young age.

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Morrissey displays an IUSG R&I Lab car he helped design

Although Morrissey attended college full-time, he still worked at the IUSG Research and Innovation Lab during summers. Here, he was given the resources to create products that would significantly impact life for all people. His first invention was a miniature blender/food processor that was designed to provide fast, efficient blending to people with cluttered or small kitchens. This was sold as the Magic Bullet. Later, after watching friends struggle with staying warm in blankets while using their arms for various arm activities, he invented the blanket with sleeves. This was sold to the populace as the Snuggie, which revolutionized leisure activities for hundreds of millions of people. It also became a worldwide fashion fad during the following winter. Kevin reportedly has never worn a Snuggie himself.

Music and Other Ventures

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Kevin Morrissey with A Cat Named Walrus featuring Dave Grohl

In 2010, Campus Cutie Kevin Morrissey and four others formed a supergroup called Kevin Morrissey with A Cat Named Walrus featuring Dave Grohl. While they originally did not want to release any of their music and only toured empty bus stations to ensure the minimum number of people heard it, their first recording session was bootlegged and distributed nationwide. This would become their first album, "Songs About Lemurs," which would eventually go platinum by 2013. Morrissey started out by playing the electric oboe, but moved to the role of second synth player during recording of the second album. He was also credited as providing backing shouts and moans. Despite the band's best intentions to stay unsuccessful and unknown, they were nominated for numerous Grammy Awards in 2011 and 2012. Both years, they won the Grammy for "Best Electronic Folk Drum and Bass Acoustic Synth Album." Morrissey won the MTV Teen Choice Award for "Biggest Hipster Cutie" for his work in the band in 2011.

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From right to left: Kevin, his long-time publicist, Dave Grohl

The name of the band evolved over the first year after formation. Although first named just A Cat Named Walrus, seven months later it was discovered that the co-lead accordion player was actually Dave Grohl and the band was renamed A Cat Named Walrus featuring Dave Grohl. Three months later, against Morrissey's wishes, his name was added to the beginning of the band name due to the universal respect and admiration the other band members felt towards him.

Outside of the band, Morrissey remained in the public eye. In 2012, he won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for his one episode role in "Monkey Hospital." Morrissey, while looking for a place to get a quick meal, accidentally walked onto the show's set and began a conversation with the show's lead actor while filming. Rather than kick him off the set, the director kept the scene in and it became the most well-received scene in the entire show's run. When accepting the Emmy, Morrissey famously stated, "I didn't even know I was on a set. I didn't even get the sandwich I ordered."

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Kevin before the 66th Tony Awards with date and Dave Grohl

Morrissey became an EGOT winner in 2012 when he won a Tony Award for Best Male Performance in a Drama. Morrissey won this award for his role in the one-man off broadway play, "Engineering: It's Pretty Important." While originally written as merely a powerpoint presentation that Kevin had as a class assignment, two dozen theater critics attended the show after their bus broke down outside of the classroom. They gave Kevin's performance rave reviews, ultimately leading to the Tony. He received a 97 on his presentation from the professor.