The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr.

Share on Social Media

Information about Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr.

Profile image of Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr.

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
MedicalMakers
Occupation(s):
Astronaut
Medical Scientist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Corn
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Triple Creek Ranch, Montana
Favorite Quote:
Dreams Are The Reality Of The Future.

Birthplace

Born:
6/26/1956
Birth Location:
Temple, Texas

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
MedicalMakers
Occupation(s):
Astronaut
Medical Scientist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Corn
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Triple Creek Ranch, Montana
Favorite Quote:
Dreams Are The Reality Of The Future.

Birthplace

Born:
6/26/1956
Birth Location:
Temple
See how Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Astronaut, medical scientist, and management executive Bernard A. Harris was born in Temple, Texas on June 26, 1956 to Bernard A. Harris, Sr. and Gussie Emanual Harris. During his youth, Harris lived on the Navajo reservations of Arizona and New Mexico, where his mother found employment as a teacher. At the age of thirteen, Harris watched the first landing on the moon, and he knew that he wanted to become an astronaut. Harris’s family returned to Texas shortly after, and he graduated from Sam Houston High School in San Antonio, Texas in 1974. During high school, Harris decided he wanted to be a medical doctor and so attended the University of Houston, where he earned his B.S. degree in biology in 1978, and the Texas Tech University Health Science Center of Medicine, where he received his M.D. degree in 1982. He then completed his residency in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Never forgetting his aspirations to become an astronaut, Harris followed a career path that would enable him to realize this dream. Upon completing his residency, Harris pursued research opportunities at Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, and later the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, specifically taking up projects that would appeal to the interests of the astronaut selection committee. After his first application to the NASA Astronaut Corps. was declined, Harris reapplied and was invited to join the elite training group in 1990. Following the completion of intensive training, Harris was given his first assignment as a mission specialist of the Space Shuttle Columbia in the spring of 1993, just a few months after the birth of his daughter, Brooke Alexandria. Two years later, Harris returned to space and made history as the first African American to walk in space, where he and crew member Michael Foale tested the temperature resilience of their spacesuits.

Following his career in astronautics, Harris became an entrepreneur, working first as vice president of Spacehab, Inc. in 1996, where he worked on the commercialization of space exploration. After earning his M.B.A. degree from the University of Houston Clear Lake, Harris became executive director of Versalius Ventures in 2001.

Harris has received much recognition for his work as astronaut, entrepreneur, and as a community developer. In addition to becoming a fellow of the American College of Physicians, he is also the winner of The Challenger Award from the Ronald E. McNair Foundation, and recipient of the prestigious Horatio Alger Award. The Dr. Bernard A. Harris Middle School was named in his honor in 2006. That same year Harris established the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp and the Dream Tour, two STEM programs to encourage minority students to pursue an interest in the sciences.

Bernard Harris was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 6, 2013.

See how Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his mother's upbringing in Texas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his parents, and his family's early life in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about the year following his parents' divorce
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his sister, Gillette Emmanuel
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his family's experience on the Navajo reservation in Greasewood, Arizona
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his cultural experience on the Navajo reservation in Greasewood, Arizona
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks his childhood interests while living in Greasewood, Arizona
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his experience in Tohatchi, New Mexico
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his introduction to science and the space program
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about astronauts Ed Dwight and Robert Lawrence
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about the 1969 moon landing
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his interest in playing the saxophone
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his childhood personality, and his teachers and mentors in school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his brother, Dennis Harris
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about being in a band named 'Purple Haze'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his experience at Sam Houston High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his role models in medicine and astronautics
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his senior year of high school and his summers with his band
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his father attending his high school graduation
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his mentors at the University of Houston
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr.'s interview, session 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. remembers pledging to the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his early mentors
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. remembers applying to medical school
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes the medical program at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. remembers applying for his medical residency
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his early aspiration to become an astronaut, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes the impact of space travel on the human body
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. recalls his work at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. remembers the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. remembers the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his early aspiration to become an astronaut, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. recalls his early career at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. remembers the NASA Astronaut Candidate Program
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about the types of astronaut positions
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. recalls his space flight training in Russia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. remembers his first NASA mission
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about the zero gravity simulation training at NASA
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes the preparations for space flight, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about the demographics of NASA
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes the preparations for space flight, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. recalls his experiences of the space shuttle launch
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes the adjustment to zero gravity
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his experiences of space travel, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his experiences of space travel, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about the space shuttle intra-crew dynamics
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes the daily life of an astronaut
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his second mission with NASA
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. remembers his first spacewalk
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes the space shuttle reentry process
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about the findings of his NASA space missions
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. remembers his decision to leave NASA
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his graduate studies and his work with Space Media, Inc.
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes The Harris Foundation
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. recalls the start of Vesalius Ventures, Inc.
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his medical career
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about the American Telemedicine Association
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his company, Vesalius Ventures, Inc.
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his memoir, 'Dream Walker: A Journey of Achievement and Inspiration'
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. recalls bringing the Navajo Nation flag into space
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. talks about his daughter
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. reflects upon his life and spirituality
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. reflects upon his experiences as an astronaut
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered