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Donald P. Harris

1950 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Donald P. Harris Obituary
April 7, 1950 - April 1, 2016 Donald Harris, the former President of Domestic Distribution at Paramount Pictures and executive at DreamWorks and AMC Theaters, has passed away after battling brain cancer. Don's love of the film industry began at a young age. His grandfather opened the first Nickelodeon theater and his father, John, created Ice Capades where Don's mother, Donna Atwood Harris, was the star. He was also heavily involved in Variety, The Children's Charity, which his father founded in 1927. Don's focus was on bettering the lives of Ukrainian orphans. He helped clothe over 600 children in the first year, which was the first winter that no child died. Don continued to raise money and, in 2013, was able to go to Ukraine to see the dormitory that was built to provide healthcare, showers and food for these children. He frequently told his girls "you should leave the world a better place than it was when you came into it." In addition to his work with Variety, Don also coached several girls' softball teams, many of which included his three daughters. He worked behind the scenes to help the girls on his teams maximize their opportunities and get into elite colleges. Prior to having children, he coached Little League and youth soccer teams for several years in the San Fernando Valley. Don was a proud graduate of USC and a die-hard USC football fan. He attended every game over the last 9 years, even while he was sick, with his friend and ESPN host, Steve Mason. Don was surrounded by his children, wife, twin brother and close family when he passed. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Susan, his three beloved daughters Lindsay, Kelly (Greg) and Bailey, his grandchildren Kolton Carter and Karson Don, his twin brother Dennis (Marian) and sister Donna (Gary), his four nieces Gretchen McCourt (Larry), Heidi Budreau (Eric), Brittany Greenfield and Donna Harris. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations for the Ukrainian orphans to continue Don's legacy (http://apps.variety.org/portal/open-fundraisers-secure?PFR=3) or to the UCLA Brain Cancer Research Fund (https://giving.ucla.edu/Standard/NetDonate.aspx?SiteNum=168). Don's service will take place on May 17th at The Cathedral of Our Lady Of The Angels at 1:30pm followed by a celebration of his life.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Apr. 27 to May 1, 2016
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