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This Day in Georgia History

April 18, 1932

William Harris Died

Former Georgia U.S. Senator William Harris died. Born in Cedartown, Georgia on Feb. 3, 1868, Harris attended the University of Georgia for two years (1888-1890) but returned home to enter the insurance business. In 1904, Georgia U.S. Senator Alexander Stephens Clay hired Harris to be his private secretary. During this time, Harris made a number of contacts with Georgia political figures. Harris resigned his position in 1909 and was elected to the Georgia Senate the next year. In 1912, Harris helped manage Woodrow Wilson’s Georgia campaign for the presidency. After Wilson’s election, the new president appointed Harris to direct the U.S. Census Bureau. He held several federal position before resigning to run for the U.S. Senate in 1918. Harris was elected for three terms in the U.S. Senate. Early in his third term, he died in Washington, D.C., with his funeral held in the U.S. Senate chamber.