Dr. Kelso Bronson Morris, 73, a professor emeritus of chemistry and a former chairman of the chemistry department at Howard University, died of pneumonia Aug. 26 at the Washington Hospital Center. He had cancer.

Dr. Morris, who lived in Washington, was born in Beaumont, Tex. He graduated from Wiley College in Marshall, Tex., and earned master's and doctoral degrees in chemistry at Cornell University. He taught at Wiley for 16 years until 1946, when he joined the faculty at Howard.

He was chairman of the chemistry department at Howard from 1956 to 1969. He retired as a professor emeritus in 1977.

Dr. Morris also had been a visiting professor at Atlanta University, North Carolina College and the Air Force Institute of Technology. For many years he took part in a lecture series sponsored by the United Negro College Fund and the Dreyfus Foundation.

He was the author of three books and numerous articles that appeared in professional journals. He was a past secretary of the Washington Academy of Science, a past president of the D.C. Institute of Chemists and a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Chemists and the American Chemical Society as well as of other professional groups. He also was a member of the Cosmos Club and All Souls Unitarian Church.

Dr. Morris received the Distinguished Teaching of Science Award of the Washington Academy of Science and was enrolled in the Hall of Fame of Wiley College.

His marriage to Talitha Morris ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife, Marlene of Washington; a son by his first marriage, Kenneth B. of Walnut, Calif.; three children by his second marriage, Gregory A., Karen D. and Lisa F., all of Washington, and three grandchildren.