Masterson, Harris 1914-1997

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Harris Masterson, III, native Houstonian and well-known philanthropist, was born July 9, 1914 to Libbie Mary Johnston and Neill Turner Masterson. He attended San Jacinto High School, the New Mexico Military Institute, and Rice Institute during the 1930s and later returned to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1955. Masterson was an intelligence officer during World War II and served as an instructor during the Korean Conflict. In 1951 he married the former Carroll Sterling Cowan. Among Masterson's better-known business interests were Westmoreland Importers, an antique and interior design studio, and "Houston Presents," which brought touring theatrical and orchestral groups to Houston. Harris Masterson served as board chairman or president of all major Houston arts organizations, and among his philanthropic interests were Houston area hospitals, charitable and cultural organizations including Houston Grand Opera, Wortham Center, Houston Ballet, Houston Symphony, Society for the Performing Arts, Museum of Fine Arts, Alley Theater, and several preservation societies. His honors include the 1996 Friends of Fondren Honoree [Rice University], and, along with his wife, the National Medal of Arts recipient [1990], and Cultural Leader of the Year [1974]. Masterson died on April 7, 1997 in Houston.

From the description of Harris Masterson, III papers, 1892-1980, (bulk 1950s-1970s). (Rice University). WorldCat record id: 56397013

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Office of the Director. Peter C. Marzio, Correspondence Files, 1982-2002. Hirsch Library Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
creatorOf Masterson Family. Masterson Family Papers, 1864-2000, 1950's and 1975-1996 Hirsch Library Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
creatorOf Masterson, Harris. Harris Masterson, III papers, 1892-1980, (bulk 1950s-1970s). Rice University, Fondren Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Carroll and Harris Masterson Theatrical Productions. corporateBody
associatedWith Houston Council for Retarded Children. corporateBody
associatedWith Houston Presents. corporateBody
associatedWith Masterson, Carroll. person
associatedWith Masterson family. family
associatedWith Masterson Family family
associatedWith Masterson, Neill T. person
associatedWith Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Office of the Director corporateBody
associatedWith Rienzi Foundation. corporateBody
associatedWith Westmoreland Importers. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Antique dealers
Antiquities business


Death 1997



Ark ID: w6vx0r91

SNAC ID: 41470714