Harris, Patricia, 1924-1985

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Lawyer, educator, diplomat, and cabinet officer; born Patricia Roberts.

From the description of Patricia Harris papers, 1950-1983 (bulk 1977-1980). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70983070

Patricia Roberts Harris was born Patricia Roberts on May 31, 1924, in Mattoon, Illinois. On September 1, 1955, she married Attorney William Harris. She graduated summa cum laude from Howard University in 1945 and received a doctorate in jurisprudence from George Washington University Law School in 1960. In the same year, she was admitted to the District of Columbia bar and admitted to practice before the U.S. State Supreme Court. After serving as a trial attorney at the Department of Justice, she became associate dean of students and lecturer in law at Howard University. During the administration of President John F. Kennedy, she served as co-chairman of the National Women's Committee on Civil Rights. In 1964, she became the first black, woman ambassador when President Lyndon Johnson named her ambassador to Luxembourg. She was dean of Howard University Law School in 1969, and served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from January 23, 1977 to 1979. She served as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare and was the first Secretary of Health and Human Services, serving from August 3, 1979 to January 20, 1981. In 1982, she became a professor at the George Washington National Law Center, a position she held until her death from breast cancer on March 23, 1985. She was named woman of the Year by the Ladies Home Journal and received the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award.

From the description of Harris, Patricia, 1924-1985 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10582307

Lawyer, educator, diplomat, and cabinet officer; b. Patricia Roberts.

From the description of Papers, 1950-1983 (bulk 1977-1980). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 28416017

Biographical Note

  • 1924, May 31: Born, Mattoon, Ill.
  • 1945: B.A., Howard University, Washington, D.C.
  • 1946 - 1949 : Program director, Young Women's Christian Association
  • 1949 - 1953 : Assistant director, American Council on Human Rights
  • 1953 - 1959 : Executive director, Delta Sigma Theta
  • 1955: Married William Beasley Harris
  • 1959 - 1960 : Research associate, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
  • 1960: J.D., George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
  • 1960 - 1961 : Trial attorney, Criminal Division, Justice Department
  • 1961 - 1963 : Associate dean of students and lecturer in law, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
  • 1963: Cochair, National Women's Committee for Civil Rights
  • 1963 - 1965 : Law professor, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
  • 1964 - 1966 : Member, United States-Puerto Rico Commission on the Status of Puerto Rico
  • 1965 - 1967 : United States ambassador, Luxembourg
  • 1967 - 1969 : Law professor, Howard University, Washington, D.C.; dean of School of Law in 1969
  • 1967 - 1977 : Member, board of directors, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
  • 1968 - 1969 : Member, National Committee on the Causes and Prevention of Violence
  • 1970 - 1977 : Partner, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Kampelman, Washington, D.C.
  • 1977 - 1979 : Secretary, Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • 1979 - 1981 : Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services (formerly Department of Health, Education, and Welfare until May 1980)
  • 1982: Candidate, mayor of Washington, D.C.
  • 1985, Mar. 23: Died, Washington, D.C.

From the guide to the Patricia Harris Papers, 1924-1983, (bulk 1977-1980), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Patterson, Frederick D. (Frederick Douglass), 1901-1988. Frederick D. Patterson papers, 1861-1988 (bulk 1965-1988). Library of Congress
referencedIn Dannett, Sylvia G. L., 1909-. Sylvia G.L. Dannett papers, 1900-1965. Livingstone College, Andrew Carnegie Library
referencedIn Guide to the Daily Worker and Daily World Photographs Collection, 1920-2001 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
creatorOf Patricia Harris Papers, 1924-1983, (bulk 1977-1980) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Sage Colleges. Archives. Honorary degree recipient for 1970, Patricia Roberts Harris. The Sage Colleges Libraries
referencedIn Records of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 1956 - 2008. Photographs of Agency Officials
creatorOf Harris, Patricia, 1924-1985. Patricia Harris : commercials , 1982. University of Oklahoma, Political Community Archives
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Staff Secretary. 1976 - 1981. Presidential Files. 1977 - 1981. 8/3/79
referencedIn Hugh H. Smythe and Mabel M. Smythe Papers, circa 1895-1997, (bulk 1960-1990) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Harris, Patricia, 1924-1985. Papers, 1950-1983 (bulk 1977-1980). Library of Congress
referencedIn Hugh H. Smythe and Mabel M. Smythe Papers, circa 1895-1997, (bulk 1960-1990) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Papers, 1884-1998 (inclusive), 1929-1988 (bulk) Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Patterson, Frederick D. (Frederick Douglass), 1901-1988. Papers, 1861-1988 (bulk 1965-1988). Library of Congress
creatorOf Harris, Patricia, 1924-1985. Patricia Harris papers, 1950-1983 (bulk 1977-1980). Library of Congress
creatorOf Knox College (Galesburg, Ill.). [Honorary degrees series] / [Knox College, Galesburg, Ill.]. Knox College, Seymour Library
referencedIn Frederick D. Paterson Papers, 1861-1988, (bulk 1965-1988) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Hugh H. Smythe and Mabel M. Smythe Papers, circa 1895-1997, (bulk 1960-1990) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Peterson, Esther, 1906-1997. Papers, 1884-1998 (inclusive), 1929-1998 (bulk). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
correspondedWith Baroni, Geno C. (Geno Charles), 1930- person
correspondedWith Byrd, Robert C. person
associatedWith Carter, Jimmy, 1924- person
correspondedWith Carter, Rosalynn person
correspondedWith Carter, Rosalynn person
correspondedWith Chin, Carolyn Sue, 1947- person
associatedWith Communist Party of the United States of America. corporateBody
correspondedWith Coyle, Stephen F. person
correspondedWith Coyle, Stephen F. person
correspondedWith Dannett, Sylvia G. L., 1909- person
correspondedWith Eizenstat, Stuart person
correspondedWith Embry, Robert Campbell, 1937- person
associatedWith ESTHER (EGGERTSEN) PETERSON, 1906-1997 person
correspondedWith Hubschman, Henry A., 1947- person
correspondedWith Janis, Jay, 1932- person
correspondedWith Jordan, Vernon E. (Vernon Eulion), 1935- person
correspondedWith Kinder, Randolph S. person
correspondedWith Kliman, Albert J. (Albert Joseph), 1934- person
associatedWith Knox College (Galesburg, Ill.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Koch, Ed, 1924- person
correspondedWith Medina, William Antonio, 1935- person
correspondedWith Mondale, Walter F., 1928- person
correspondedWith Murray, Pauli, 1910-1985 person
correspondedWith O'Neill, Tip person
correspondedWith O'Neill, Tip person
correspondedWith Patterson, Frederick D. (Frederick Douglass), 1901-1988. person
associatedWith Peterson, Esther, 1906-1997. person
correspondedWith Proxmire, William person
correspondedWith Shalala, Donna E. person
associatedWith Smythe, Hugh H. (Hugh Heyne), 1913-1977. person
associatedWith Smythe, Mabel M. (Mabel Murphy). Hugh H. Smythe and Mabel M. Smythe papers. circa 1895-1997 person
correspondedWith Stark, Nathan J. person
associatedWith Strategic Arms Limitation Talks II. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Department of Health and Human Services. Office of the Secretary. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Office of the Secretary. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Office of the Secretary. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Office of the Secretary. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare. Office of the Secretary. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. Office of the Secretary. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Oklahoma. Political Commercial Archive. corporateBody
correspondedWith Vance, Cyrus R. (Cyrus Roberts), 1917-2002 person
correspondedWith Welsh, William B., 1924- person
correspondedWith Wise, Bill M., 1936- person
correspondedWith Wright, Jim, 1922- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Washington (D.C.)
Luxembourg
Iran
Luxembourg
Iran
Washington (D.C.)
United States
United States
Luxembourg
Washington (D.C.)
United States
Iran
Subject
Medicine, Preventive--Government policy
Mayors--Election
Hospitals
Public welfare
Nuclear energy
Social security
Abortion
Discrimination in housing--Government policy
Mental health policy
Community development, Urban--Government policy
Consumer protection
Civil rights--Government policy
Nuclear disarmament
Elections
Inflation (Finance)
Urban policy
Voluntarism--Government policy
Presidents--Election--1980
Disarmament
Iran Hostage Crisis, 1979-1981
Diplomatic and consular service, American
Hospitals--Cost control
Radiation
Drug abuse--Government policy
Women--Political activity
Discrimination
Public health
Energy policy
Alcoholism--Government policy
Environmental policy
Television advertising
Emigration and Immigration--Government policy
Anti-inflationary policies
National health services
Advertising, political
Housing policy
Discrimination in employment--Government policy
Diplomatic and consular service, American--Luxembourg
Consumer protection--Government policy
Radioactive pollution
Violence
Refugees--Government policy
Governmental investigations
Medical policy
Civil rights
Occupation
Diplomats
Educators
Cabinet officers
Lawyers
Function

Person

Birth 1924-05-31

Death 1985-03-23

English

Information

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Ark ID: w6pv78ff

SNAC ID: 45040221