Former Oklahoma Senator
Fred Harris grew up in the small town of Walters, Oklahoma, where he was born in a two-room house. He was first elected to the Oklahoma State Senate where he was one of its youngest members. He made an unsuccessful race for governor of Oklahoma in 1962. In 1964, he entered the race to serve out the unexpired term of U.S. Senator Robert S. Kerr who had died while in office. He was 33 years old when he successfully defeated former Governor J. Howard Edmonson, who had been appointed to succeed Kerr, in the Democratic primary, and narrowly upset Republican nominee and legendary Oklahoma football coach Bud Wilkinson. While in Washington, D.C. he encountered such giants as Lyndon B. Johnson, Hubert H. Humphrey and Robert Kennedy. In this interview, Fred talks about the personalities of these figures–including the tension between Johnson and Kennedy. Harris accomplished much during his distinguished career, championing human rights at home and around the world. Twice elected to the U.S. Senate from Oklahoma, Fred Harris became Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. He is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction.
Interview with Fred Harris
Müllerhaus Legacy Website Team
Date Created: April 26, 2012
Date Published: July 26, 2012
Photo Credits: Slideshow images from “Good Guys Wear White Hats, The Life of George Nigh” by Bob Burke
Notes: Recorded by John Erling in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Digital Audio Sound Recording, Non-Music.