|Birth Date||June 6, 1973|
|Family|| Unnamed father (deceased)|
Fran Morgan (mother)
Sarah Morgan (sister)
Desiree Morgan (sister)
Yvonne Burns (aunt)
Paul Burns (uncle, deceased)
Anthony Ford (first cousin once removed)
|Job||BAU Special Agent|
|Rank|| Supervisory Special Agent|
Acting Unit Chief
|Specialty|| Obsessional crimes|
|Portrayed By||Shemar Moore|
|First Appearance||Extreme Aggressor|
"I study guys like you for a living, I know more about you than you know about yourself."
Derek Morgan is a Supervisory Special Agent with the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit. For a time, he was the acting unit chief of the BAU, taking over as Hotch stepped down temporally. He specializes in explosives, fixations, and obsessive behaviors.
Morgan is the son of an African-American father and a Caucasian mother. During high school, Morgan was popular from his sophomore year to graduation; he confided to Reid that during his freshman year, he got his "ass kicked every day". He went to Northwestern University on a football scholarship and is a honor graduate in Law, holds a black belt in Judo, runs FBI self-defense classes, served in a bomb squad unit, and worked as a Chicago police officer. His two sisters, Sarah and Desirée, and he grew up in a tough Chicago neighborhood.
At the age of ten, Morgan was a witness to the shooting death of his father, a police officer. After his father's death, Morgan struggled somewhat with youthful fighting, earning him a juvenile criminal record. He was taken under the wing of a local youth center coordinator, Carl Buford. Buford acted as a surrogate father to Morgan, helping Morgan to obtain the aforementioned football scholarship, but Buford was also sexually abusing him, which Morgan revealed several years later, under extreme duress. As a teen he discovered the body of an unidentified boy, which had a profound effect on him (he went door to door in order to collect money to buy the boy a headstone and visited the boy's grave every time he came home to Chicago).
Years later, Morgan's past would come back to haunt him when he was arrested by the Chicago Police Department for the murder of the unidentified boy and two others. The lead detective (who had arrested Morgan several times as a boy) believed Morgan was guilty and used a BAU profile done by Jason Gideon (who was unaware Morgan was the prime suspect) to support his case. Believing he was being framed by the real killer, the BAU searched through Morgan's life and background to prove him innocent, which Garcia was uncomfortable doing. They later identified Carl Buford as the man who set Morgan up to take the fall (Buford was friends with the lead detective). When Hotch asked about Buford, Morgan told him to back off. He then escaped police custody and spoke to a local boy who was friends with the latest victim. The boy revealed he was currently being molested by Buford and that the latest victim knew about it. Morgan confronted Buford, who at first denied anything happened between them, and told Morgan the other boy was lying. Refusing to back down (and wishing that he had told someone about Buford when he was a kid), Morgan eventually got Buford to admit to the abuse. Buford's admission was overheard by Chicago detectives (who were hiding nearby), and they arrested Buford. Buford pleaded with Morgan to help him, and Morgan simply told Buford, "You go to Hell" leaving the child molester to his fate.
Derek's personality has changed dramatically several times during the course of the series. At the beginning of Season One, Derek appears to be an over-eager attention getter; wearing three-piece suits and constantly quoting regulations and being the only member of the team who understood Reid's "jokes." His personality would then shift to a suave, ladies man-type before finally settling in to the serious, grim-faced agent that he is today, though he still maintains the suave attitude towards women, only in a more mature fashion. He has shown to be very flirtatious towards Penelope Garcia.
On the Job
In the episode Lo-Fi, it is told that he is being looked at to replace SSA Joyner and head up the New York field office. In Mayhem, Hotch doesn't recommend him because he said that Derek doesn't have enough trust in his coworkers. In Catching Out, he chases the Unsub to a train where he hangs on for dear life until Hotchner shoots the suspect and saves his life.
In Omnivore, Derek comes very close to being killed by The Reaper. The Reaper tackles him through a window and Derek is rendered unconscious. Since The Reaper is a power/control type killer, Derek's unconscious state was a turn off and The Reaper spared him, leaving behind a .44 Magnum round to let him know that he easily could have killed him. He also took Derek's credentials.
In The Eyes Have It, Morgan is successful in his first case as Acting Unit Chief. At the end of the episode, he is given his own office (JJ and Garcia had pulled some strings to get Morgan the space, as its previous occupant, one Agent Hall, was set to retire soon).
In Our Darkest Hour, Derek was attacked by a serial killer who killed Detective Matt Spicer in front of his eyes. At the end of the episode, Derek and Spicer's sister had to watch as the Unsub abducted Spicer's daughter, Derek vowing "We will find you, you sick son of a bitch."
In Lauren, Derek was angry with Prentiss for never telling the team of her past with Ian Doyle and the extents to which she went to get his profile. However, he was also extremely worried about her and was the agent who found her moments after she was stabbed by Doyle. He blamed himself for her 'death,' and reacted badly when told that she was alive. However, he recovered from the shock quite quickly but later falsely told her that she had to undertake recertification training. When she confronted him about lying, he told her that he didn't want to lose her again and needed some reassurance. They then agreed to meet up for ten hours of training.
In Painless, Morgan engaged in a practical joke 'war' with Reid, giving Reid's phone number to the press. Non-stop calls irritated Reid until he eventually lost his temper and yelled into the phone at one of his callers. On the plane, it is revealed that Reid hacked his MP3 player so that Morgan couldn't turn it off and could only hear Reid screaming and Reid hacked Morgan's phone so that he thought Garcia was calling, only to hear more screaming. Impressed, Rossi waves a white cloth as a signal that Morgan should surrender, but he refused, insisting that it was over before telling Reid that "payback's a bitch".
Derek shares a special relationship with Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia. In Penelope, Derek's love for his "Baby Girl" was evident as he stayed by her side protecting her and caring for her during her recovery. Penelope's love for her "Hot Stuff" and "Gorgeous" (as she calls Derek) was also evident in Mayhem and Lessons Learned as she sat with her face full of fear and terror at the thought of losing him. Derek and Penelope have had no romantic involvement, but the deep love they share is proof positive that they have a life long bond because neither one can survive without the other. They have a sibling-like bond.
- His original sidearm was a Glock 17 with a TLR-2 Streamlight laser/flashlight combination attachment. By Season Six, he switched to a Sig Sauer P226R with a TLR-1 tactical light attachment.
- Derek was originally named "Tim" ("Compulsion").
- Derek's favorite author is Kurt Vonnegut, with his favorite Vonnegut novel being Mother Night
- He usually kicks down the doors and storms in.
- Began to once again believe in God right before Garcia was shot and was praying in a church as she was being operated on.
- In a deleted scene from Damaged, Derek claims to Emily that he does 1,000 sit-ups a day when working out, sometimes twice a day.
- In A Higher Power, he told Prentiss that he owns four properties and enjoys remodeling them in his spare time.
- He finds out that he likes mojitos and enjoys South Beach while on vacation.
- In Secrets and Lies, it was revealed that Derek has a dog named Clooney, who is not mentioned in any later episodes.
- He is a fan of hockey, but doesn't like baseball. (I Love You, Tommy Brown)
- He has posed nude for an art class on at least one occasion. (I Love You, Tommy Brown)
- The background story of his sexual abuse which prompted him to join the FBI was based on the real life experiences of former BAU member and current writer/consultant, Jim Clemente.
Behind the Scenes
Derek Morgan is portrayed by former soap actor Shemar Moore.