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Joe Frank Harris


In office
January 11, 1983 – January 13, 1991
Lieutenant Zell Miller
Preceded by George Busbee
Succeeded by Zell Miller

Born February 16, 1936( 1936-02-16)
Atco, Georgia
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Carlock
Religion Methodist

Joe Frank Harris (born February 16, 1936) is an American Democratic politician who served as the Governor of the U.S. state of Georgia from 1983 to 1991.

Harris was born in Atco, Georgia to Frank and Frances Harris. Harris was the second of three children that also included brother, Fred Harris and sister, Glenda Harris Gambill. Harris went on to graduate from the University of Georgia in 1958 with a degree in business. While attending Georgia, he also became a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. Upon graduation Harris returned to his native Cartersville, Georgia to join his father Frank and brother Fred in the family run cement business. Harris Cement Products, Inc. operated from 1940-1980, and was a successful Northwest Georgia business that during the late 1970's furnished all the cement for the bridges and overpasses constructed on Interstate 75 from Cobb County to Gordon County. Harris was persuaded to run for the Georgia House of Representatives in 1964 and served nine terms. Harris became the chairman of the Appropriations Committee in 1974.

When he ran for Governor in 1982, Harris was seen as a long shot candidate, but with the support of the Speaker of the Georgia House Tom Murphy, he was able to win the primary over U.S. Representative Bo Ginn. As Governor, Harris implemented the Quality Basic Education Act (QBE) and helped to build the Georgia Dome and lure the 1996 Summer Olympics to Atlanta. Harris is also credited with building more libraries during his term than any other governor in Georgia's history.

After his two terms as Governor, Harris was appointed to the Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Aflac.

The portion of U.S. Route 41 through Bartow County is named in his honor (Joe Frank Harris Parkway), as well as the Joe Frank Harris Commons that houses The Village Summit Dining Commons (operated by UGA FOOD SERVICES) at the University of Georgia.

References

Political offices
Preceded by
George Busbee
Governor of Georgia
1983–1991
Succeeded by
Zell Miller
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