Harris, Mark, 1922-2007

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Mark Harris (1922- ), author and educator, born in Mount Vernon, New York.

From the description of Letters to Arthur Mizener, 1962, 1966, 1976. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 38478291

Mark Harris was born November 19, 1922 in Mount Vernon, New York and was an American novelist, literary biographer, and educator. Harris was best known for a quartet of novels about baseball players: The Southpaw (1953), Bang the Drum Slowly (1956), A Ticket for a Seamstitch (1957), and It Looked Like For Ever (1979). In 1956, Bang the Drum Slowly was adapted for an installment of the dramatic television anthology series The United States Steel Hour. The novel also became a major motion picture in 1973, with a screenplay written by Harris, directed by John D. Hancock. Harris died, May 30, 2007, of complications of Alzheimer's Disease at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital at age 84. He was survived by his wife, Josephine Horen, his sister, Martha, two sons, one daughter, and three grandchildren.

From the description of Mark Harris Papers : papers 1958-1998. (National Baseball Hall of Fame). WorldCat record id: 238658042

Bannow, Steve. "Mark Harris," in Dictionary of Literary Biography (Detroit: Gale Research, 1978). Volume 2 Enck, John. "Mark Harris: An Interview," Wisconsin Studies in Contemporary Literature, 6, No. 1 (Spring–Summer 1965), pp. 15–26. Eppard, Philip B. "Mark Harris," in First Printings of American Authors (Detroit: Gale Research, 1977). Volume I. Lavers, Norman. Mark Harris (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1978). Includes an extensive primary and secondary bibliography.

American author Mark Harris was born November 19, 1922, in Mt. Vernon, New York.

Following military service from 1943–1944, Harris became a journalist and worked on a variety of newspapers and magazines for the remainder of the decade, including the Daily Item (Port Chester, NY. 1944–1945), PM (New York, NY, 1945), the International News Service (St. Louis, 1945–1946), and in Chicago for the Negro Digest and Ebony (1946–1951). Harris remained active as a journalist for most of his writing career.

Harris completed his first novel, Trumpet to the World, while he was employed in St. Louis; it was published in 1946. Two years later, Harris enrolled as an undergraduate at the University of Denver and eventually went on to receive a master's degree in English (1951) from Denver, as well as a Ph.D. in American Studies (1956) from the University of Minnesota. Harris's dissertation focused on the life and work of the American literary radical Randolph Bourne.

Even while he attended school, Harris continued to write fiction. He produced three additional novels, all of which were published by the time he received his Ph.D. Following the receipt of his doctorate, Harris began a long, productive career as a college educator teaching at San Francisco State College (1954–1968), Purdue University (1967–1970), California Institute of the Arts (1970–1973), the University of Southern California (1973-1975), the University of Pittsburgh (1976–1980), and Arizona State University-Tempe (1980–2001).

Harris may be best known for his fictional work, Bang the Drum Slowly (1956), the second volume in his trilogy devoted to the fictional baseball player, Henry Wiggen. Harris adapted this novel into a screenplay for the 1973 movie of the same name. Several of Harris's novels have received critical acclaim, notably, Something about a Soldier (1957), Wake Up Stupid (1959), The Goy (1970), and Killing Everybody (1973).

In addition to his work as a novelist, Mark Harris has produced a variety of works in other literary genres. His critical contributions include editing the poems of Vachel Lindsay in Selected Poems of Vachel Lindsay (1963) and the journals of James Boswell in Heart of Boswell (1981).

Harris has written biographies that include Vachel Lindsay's City of Discontent (1952), and Saul Bellow's Saul Bellow: Drumlin Woodchuck (1980). Harris's autobiographical books include Mark the Glove Boy; or, The Last Days of Richard Nixon (1964), an account of Harris's coverage of Nixon's unsuccessful California gubernatorial campaign; Twentyone Twice: A Journal (1966), an account of Harris' experiences in Sierra Leone as a member of the Peace Corps; and finally, Best Father Ever Invented: An Authobiography of Mark Harris (1976), which chronicles his life from late adolescence up to 1973.

Martha Harris, sister of American author Mark Harris, was born in 1933 in Mt. Vernon, New York. After Martha Harris graduated from high school, she and her mother moved to Minnesota to live with her brother Mark's family. She later relocated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was active in the Social Workers Party.

From the guide to the Mark Harris letters to Martha Harris, 1951–2005, 1992–1999, (University of Delaware Library - Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Harris, Mark, 1922-2007. Letters to Arthur Mizener, 1962, 1966, 1976. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Jacobson, Dan. Papers, 1941-1994. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Frost, Robert, 1874-1963. Letter, 1961 Oct. 4, Ripton, Vt., to Mark Harris, San Francisco, Calif. Dartmouth College Library
referencedIn Haydn, Hiram Collins, 1907-1973,. Creative writing questionnaires for writing class at University of Pennsylvania, 1970-1972. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Stephen Siteman Collection MS 503., 1976-2006 Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst Libraries
creatorOf Miles, Josephine, 1911-. Papers, 1957-1968. Washington University in St. Louis, .
creatorOf Harris, Mark, 1922-2007. Mark Harris Papers : papers 1958-1998. National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
referencedIn Rubin, Louis Decimus, 1923-. Louis Decimus Rubin papers, 1945- (Series 1.1.1 D-H) [manuscript]. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Dan Jacobson Papers TXRC93-A3., 1941-92 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Mark Harris letters to Martha Harris, 1951–2005, 1992–1999 University of Delaware Library - Special Collections
creatorOf Hills, L. Rust. Papers, 1954-1996. Indiana University
referencedIn Witter Bynner papers, 1829-1965. Houghton Library
creatorOf Harris, Mark, 1922-2007. Correspondence to Van Wyck Brooks, 1954. University of Pennsylvania Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
correspondedWith Bynner, Witter, 1881-1968 person
associatedWith Frost, Robert, 1874-1963. person
associatedWith Gehrig, Lou, 1903-1941. person
correspondedWith Harris, Martha person
correspondedWith Harris, Martha, correspondent. person
associatedWith Haydn, Hiram Collins, 1907-1973, person
associatedWith Hills, L. Rust. person
associatedWith Jacobson, Dan person
associatedWith Jacobson, Dan. person
associatedWith Letters concern Randolph Bourne, whom Harris was studying for his dissertation. person
correspondedWith Miles, Josephine, 1911- person
associatedWith Mizener, Arthur. person
associatedWith New York Times. corporateBody
associatedWith Robinson, Jackie, 1919-1972. person
associatedWith Rubin, Louis Decimus, 1923- person
associatedWith Siteman, Stephen person
associatedWith Sports Illustrated. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
New York (State)
American literature
Publishers and publishing
Authors, American
Authors, American
Baseball players


Birth 1922-11-19

Death 2007-05-30




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