Minister, civil rights activist, and former president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's Virginia chapter.
He became president of the Hopewell, Virginia chapter of the NAACP in 1950. In 1960, he organized a sit-in at a segregated drugstore and was arrested.
He served as a Baptist pastor in several Virginia counties before retiring from the ministry in 2007. He also served as the first African-American mayor of the city of Hopewell, Virginia.
He was born in Dendron, Virginia. He was married to Ruth Jones Harris for 65 years, until her death in 2011.
He served on the national Board of Directors of the SCLC while Martin Luther King, Jr. was president of the organization. Harris and King also collaborated on the organization of such groundbreaking civil rights initiatives as the Selma to Montgomery marches.