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Glenn Harris

Sports talk show host Robert “Glenn” Harris was born on April 24, 1947 in Queens, New York. The son of electrical worker Pleasant Samuel Harris and June Pucket Harris, he grew up in Southeast Washington, D.C. with his brother, Ron. Harris loved sports and in 1958 won the Washington, D.C. City Little League Championship. He attended Birney Elementary School, Turner Elementary School, Garfield Elementary School and Douglass Junior High School. At Anacostia High School, Harris and his friend, Reggie Rucker, were mentored by Dave Brown. Graduating in 1965, Harris played baseball with the Washington Black Sox and briefly attended Miami’s Dade County Junior College. From 1970 to 1974, Harris attended Howard University on a baseball scholarship and graduated with his B.S. degree in physical education and urban education. Under the guidance of Chuck Hinton, Howard won the MEAC Baseball Championship twice during Harris’ playing years.

In the mid-1970s when Harris was public address announcer for Howard University’s athletic teams, he was discovered by black radio entrepreneur, Dewey Hughes. Harris began hosting the popular Let’s Talk Sports on Howard’s WHUR-FM in 1979 and went on to become Sports Director for the station. Harris has hosted Community News and Sports on Channel 4 and provided sports commentary for FOX WTTG-TV. Anchoring the only live nightly sports call-in show in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, NEWSCHANNEL 8’s Sports Talk, Harris earned back-to-back awards for “Best Year-Round Sports Coverage” from Virginia’s Associated Press. His feature “Anacostia at the Crossroads” garnered an award from the National Association of Black Journalists in 1995.

A streetwise, knowledgeable and well-liked authority on local and national sports, Harris participated in Howard University’s 1993 Forum on Black Athletics. In 1995, Harris received the “Glenn Brenner Award” for outstanding contributions to young people in the community at the Regional Emmy Awards. Inducted into Howard University’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995, Harris has also received the Outstanding Washingtonian Award. Washington Mayor Anthony Williams proclaimed June 6, 2003 as Glenn Harris Day.

Harris was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 6, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.047

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/6/2007

Last Name

Harris

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

James A. Garfield Elementary School

James G. Birney Elementary School

Turner Elementary School

Douglass Junior High School

Anacostia High School

Miami Dade College

Howard University

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Days

First Name

Glenn

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

HAR23

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

All

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $500 - $1,000

Favorite Season

Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Honorarium Specifics: $500-1500
Preferred Audience: All

Sponsor

Dr. Walter Hill, Jr

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Estes Park, Colorado

Favorite Quote

I Like What I Like.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

4/24/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Television sports host Glenn Harris (1947 - ) hosted numerous sports talk shows, including Let’s Talk Sports on Howard University’s WHUR-FM and Community News and Sports on Channel 4 in Washington, D.C. He also provided sports commentary for FOX WTTG-TV, later anchoring NEWSCHANNEL 8’s Sports Talk.

Employment

WHUR Radio

‘Let’s Talk Sports’

WRC-TV

WOL Radio

WJLA-TV/‘Sports Talk’

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue, Green, Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Glenn Harris' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Glenn Harris lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Glenn Harris describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Glenn Harris recalls his early understanding of race

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Glenn Harris describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Glenn Harris describes his parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Glenn Harris talks about his father's profession

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Glenn Harris describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Glenn Harris lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Glenn Harris describes his impoverished childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Glenn Harris talks about his parents' move to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Glenn Harris describes his mother's career

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Glenn Harris recalls his mother's disciplinary methods

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Glenn Harris describes his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Glenn Harris remembers his chores

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Glenn Harris talks about his personality

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Glenn Harris remembers Robert Hinton

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Glenn Harris talks about his favorite baseball players

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Glenn Harris describes the music of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Glenn Harris talks about his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Glenn Harris describes the racial demographics of his neighborhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Glenn Harris recalls his academic difficulties

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Glenn Harris talks about his early personality

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Glenn Harris remembers the famous basketball players of his generation

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Glenn Harris remembers Reggie Rucker

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Glenn Harris describes his academic experiences at Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Glenn Harris recalls his athletic experiences at Anacostia High School

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Glenn Harris recalls lesson from his athletic experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Glenn Harris recalls his aspiration to play professional baseball

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Glenn Harris recalls attracting the interest of professional baseball scouts

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Glenn Harris remembers moving to Miami, Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Glenn Harris describes his roommates in Miami, Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Glenn Harris recalls his experiences of discrimination on the baseball team at Miami-Dade Junior College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Glenn Harris talks about his baseball coaches at Miami-Dade Junior College

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Glenn Harris remembers Mickey Rivers

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Glenn Harris recalls leaving Miami-Dade Junior College

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Glenn Harris remembers his decision to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Glenn Harris describes the history of Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Glenn Harris talks about the Division One baseball teams in 1970

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Glenn Harris talks about the importance of choosing the right major

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Glenn Harris remembers his professors at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Glenn Harris recalls a lesson from his mother, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Glenn Harris recalls a lesson from his mother, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Glenn Harris remembers the comedians of his childhood

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Glenn Harris recalls the speakers at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Glenn Harris describes his baseball teammates at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Glenn Harris remembers Coach Chuck Hinton

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Glenn Harris talks about meeting Negro League baseball players

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Glenn Harris recalls the start of his broadcasting career

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Glenn Harris describes his early radio shows

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Glenn Harris talks about the mentorship of Dewey Hughes

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Glenn Harris recalls his celebrity acquaintances in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Glenn Harris remembers the legacy of Petey Greene and Dewey Hughes

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Glenn Harris recalls lessons from Dewey Hughes

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Glenn Harris remembers Rock Newman

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Glenn Harris describes his family

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Glenn Harris talks about his abstinence from alcohol

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Glenn Harris describes his philosophy about talent

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Glenn Harris remembers his favorite interviews

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Glenn Harris talks about Michael Jordan's career in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Glenn Harris remembers the deaths of Len Bias and his brother, Jay Bias

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Glenn Harris describes football player Doug Williams

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Glenn Harris talks about the Washington Redskins' discriminatory hiring practices

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Glenn Harris talks about the integration of the Washington Redskins football team

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Glenn Harris remembers the early African American quarterbacks

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Glenn Harris remembers sportscasters Gus Johnson and James Brown

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Glenn Harris talks about the popular sports talk shows

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Glenn Harris describes the guest appearances on his talk show

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Glenn Harris shares his opinion on the Howard Cosell controversy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Glenn Harris talks about Prince's halftime performance at Super Bowl XLI

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Glenn Harris describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Glenn Harris describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Glenn Harris reflects upon his life, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Glenn Harris reflects upon his life, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Glenn Harris reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Glenn Harris talks about his position in the community of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Glenn Harris remembers African American football coaches

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Glenn Harris talks about writing an autobiography

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Glenn Harris describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Glenn Harris reflects upon his personal relationships

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$6

DAStory

8$6

DATitle
Glenn Harris describes his parents' personalities
Glenn Harris remembers his favorite interviews
Transcript
And, you know, I kind of realize, I don't have any recollection of the stress she must have gone through in her life. Marrying my father [Pleasant Harris] in 1945 (laughter), good lord, in this country?$$Well, were most of the people, your neighbors aware that she was white? Or, did they--?$$I think so, yeah. A matter fact as I talk to 'em now, they already knew it, you know. But, I didn't know. I know one thing, she was from New York [New York]; she had a whole lot of heart. She had a lot of courage. My mother [June Puckett Harris] used to--that's why I've become such an eclectic person when it comes to music and books and all that. I can go from Tchaikovsky [Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky], Rachmaninoff [Sergei Rachmaninoff], Brahms [Johannes Brahms], Beethoven [Ludwig van Beethoven], Bach [Johann Sebastian Bach], to this popular D.C. [Washington, D.C.] music called go-go. I can do it all, man. I, I'm proud of myself 'cause I never pigeonhole myself. My mother never pigeonhole herself. My mother was a tough New York chick, man. She married my father. There's two things you couldn't talk about; her husband or her children (laughter). She was just as black as my daddy was in her mind. But, she was cool, man. And, when she died, she suffered like a dog, man. She had scarlet fever when she was kid which scratched one of her eyeballs. She had ear surgery where they took the mastoid bone out of her ear, so she couldn't hear in her left ear. She had so many childhood things, you know, and TB [tuberculosis]. And, that's probably why I never got sick. I got immune to everything she had. The doctor told me that one time. And, plus I always was pretty, you know, pretty strong and everything. She--he said, "Probably because you don't get sick is because you got, you're immune to everything your mother had." I don't know if that's true or not, but, you know. But, anyway, he, they had a marriage for thirty-seven years. I'm sure Pop tipped out a little bit. I'm sure he did. My mother was pretty straight. I always said, "She only had sex five times, that was five kids that we had," (laughter). But, Ma didn't like daddy to drink; and, he drank. And, I guess, he drank because he was frustrated about a lot of things in life, you know, just like a lot of brothers that were drinking in those days. And, man, you could probably relate to your father, being a cool dude, man, he's okay. But, you know how this country was, man, it was apartheid. They wouldn't let him do nothing. So, only in the so called black area where you could go and enjoy your life. Mainstream was what everybody wanted to be in, you know. I think sometimes that set us back about three hundred centuries. But, (laughter) at least we could read (laughter), you know what I'm saying, our young people. So, Ma taught us how to read and count money by playing Monopoly and the games and we played, Sorry and Clue, and Monopoly; all those things, man. Didn't have a lot of money. Christmases were always big, you know, we're always wondering when Santa Claus was gonna come and Ma would always say, "He won't come until you go to sleep," you know. So, I figured that one out when I was twelve years old.$$(Laughter).$$I was twelve. I say, "Good gosh, it took me long time, didn't it?" But, in those days, you know, Santa Claus was big, you know. So, and everything was real idealistic, you know. You hear people talking about the good ol' days, the '50s [1950s], yeah, please (laughter). The good ol' days, black folk couldn't do nothing. It was unbelievable, you know. Good ol' days for whom? So, those were--that's the, that's the era I grew up in, you know. And, I understand that, and as I got better and started reading and understanding more stuff, or over-standing, I really felt like, okay, the field is balanced now, I know what's happening.$Let me ask you this, in all these years that you've been a sports broadcaster, what have been the most, I guess, the most memorable events in sports that you, you know, that's--?$$Magic Johnson was a good interview.$$Okay.$$When he first came in the league [National Basketball Association], I talked with him and he talked about his parents [Christine Johnson and Earvin Johnson, Sr.]. That was good for me. I like that. Did Michael Jordan one day and Michael Jordan was sitting there with no clothes on. Man, he sitting there hanging out, man. He just sitting there. Everybody had the microphone in the face, I guess, they had to make the deadlines or whatever. But, I waited and I got a good interview from Michael because I waited. I said, "Hey man, how you doing? I'm [HistoryMaker] Glenn Harris from WHUR sports [WHUR Radio, Washington, D.C.]." He said, "Man," and Mike will never remember this, "thanks for waiting, man. I appreciate it." Now, I know Michael's lawyer, David Falk, and Bill Strickland [William Strickland] was the other guy. They were two big boys. David Falk still big, billionaire. And, Michael Jordan, and of course, he represented Adrian Dantley also. So, I knew David Falk. Falk got a lot of enemies; I'm not one of 'em. But he does. And, Bill Strickland was another one who was a big time lawyer and a big time agent. And, every now and then, it'll be me, Strickland, Falk, and Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan don't remember me. But, I remember him (laughter). And, Michael Jordan is an Omega Psi Phi [Omega Psi Phi Fraternity], in the fraternity and I'm Kappa Alpha Psi [Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity]. So, you know, we always throw that around a little bit. But, he doesn't really know me.