William F. Harris

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Obituary

1933 - 2018
William F. Harris passed away peacefully on January 8th, 2018 in Dallas, Texas where he has lived since 2001. Bill was 84 years old.
He was born in Scranton, PA on November 25th, 1933 and spent most of his childhood in West Pittston, PA where his father ran a local grocery store. After moving to Long Island in his senior year of high school, he met and married Carole Schmidt. They had 4 children, Michael, Ellen, Scott and Matthew (deceased). They were divorced in the early 1970's after which time he resided in New York City.
During the 1960's Bill worked for ABC Radio but moved on to doing promotions for Dell Comics. Soon he became an editor and writer of comics for Dell, Gold Key and Western Publishing. He wrote the "The Phantom" and edited "Bullwinkle" comics during this time, among others. He also worked for King Features and did licensing work for the movie, "The Yellow Submarine". Bill later worked for the New York Times for 25 years as the Assistant to the Promotion Manager
In the early 1980's he met and married Pamela Chase who is from Dallas, Texas. After leaving The Times, he became a prolific freelance writer publishing over 100 travel and history related books including over a dozen about New York City. These include titles such as "One Thousand New York Buildings", "The Plaza Hotel", "The History of New York City", "The First Ladies Fact Book" and "Hell Fighters of Harlem". His wife Pam helped greatly by researching many of the photographs used in some of the books he wrote.
He was also a licensed tour guide in NYC, giving many walking tours dealing with the history of various neighborhoods in Manhattan and in 1989 received an award from the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau for service to the visitor's industry.
Bill Harris is survived by his wife Pamela Harris, his children Michael Harris and partner Laura Contin of West Babylon, Long Island, NY, Ellen Harris Winslow and husband Robert Winslow of Shrewsbury, PA, and Scott Harris of Patchogue, Long Island, NY. He is also survived by his step-children Michael D. Chase of Houston, TX, Candace Chase of Dallas, TX, Cord Chase and wife Jocelyn Chase of Alexandria, VA, and Gable Chase Shaikh and husband Ed Shaikh of Dallas, TX. He is also survived by 3 grandsons, 5 step-granddaughters and 5 step-grandsons.
Bill was dearly loved by all who knew him. He enjoyed keeping up with current events, listening to classical music and opera as well as jazz greats of the 1950's (including Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee among many others) and was a voracious reader of books and the daily New York Times edition. In earlier years, he enjoyed travel and especially loved Venice, Italy. He was fond of history, the circus and his beloved cats.
Memorial services will take place in New York City in the near-future. Please contact Ellen Winslow ([email protected]) if you are interested in attending.
Published on NYTimes.com from Jan. 22 to Jan. 23, 2018
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