HARRIS, Patricia M.Age 88, a well-known Nashville journalist, passed away Saturday, April 14, 2012 at her daughter's home in Nashville of natural causes. Ms. Harris covered the mid-state area for Reuters News Service until about a year prior to her death. She was the correspondent for "Time" magazine for more than 25 years. She also wrote a weekly entertainment feature for the "Chicago Sun Times" and a monthly column, "Stargazing," for the consumer magazine "Music City News." She handled special assignments for the "Wall Street Journal" and the "Christian Science Monitor." Michael Conlon, who worked with Ms. Harris during her tenure at Reuters, remembers that, "For the better part of three decades, no major story from Nashville, Tennessee, appeared on Reuters without the hand, guidance or byline of Pat Harris. Tornadoes, floods, divorces, deaths and sins of country music stars, visits by politicians and governors -- she was there. In Nashville's music world, some of the biggest stars called her if she didn't call them. She gave Reuters a worldwide beat of several minutes on the death of James Earl Ray, Martin Luther King's jailed assassin." Ms. Harris got her start with International News Service (INS) in Chicago upon graduation from high school in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. She moved to the Springfield, Illinois office after INS merged with United Press International (UPI), and was the bureau manager for them several years. Ms. Harris was the youngest UPI bureau manager in the country at that time. Ms. Harris was the Chicago press aide for Governor Adlai Stevenson during his second run for president against Dwight Eisenhower. Later, she wrote a book, "Adlai: The Springfield Years," which was published in 1975. It received critical acclaim in the "New York Times" and other leading dailies. A copy is on display at the Stevenson exhibit at the University of Chicago. The journalist was also the vice president of the Illinois Legislative Correspondents Assn., made up of leading political journalists for Chicago dailies. She moved to Nashville in 1965 when her husband, who was also a journalist, was hired as a reporter at "The Tennessean." Ms. Harris worked for the Tennessee Education Department for 12 years, where she handled public relations, wrote speeches for three different commissioners, and edited the magazine "Trailblazer," which won National Education Assn. and Editors Press recognition and awards. Ms. Harris was born and raised in Bartlesville, OK. She is survived by her daughter, Barbara of Nashville, and numerous friends. A private celebration of life service will be held later. Ms. Harris was a huge supporter of animal rights, so memorial contributions may be made in her name to a national organization such as ASPCA or locally to Happy Tales, Love at First Sight or the Nashville Humane Assn. Guestbook www.crawfordservices.com. CRAWFORD MORTUARY & CREMATORY, (615) 254-8200.
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Crawford Mortuary & Crematory
2714 Grandview Avenue Nashville, TN 37211
Published in The Tennessean on Apr. 24, 2012