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Fred Harris

"I may not always be right, but I will work at the job." That's what Fred Harris told the family of Robert S. Kerr as he prepared to run for the United States Senate after Sen. Kerr's death in 1964. Harris learned the value of hard work as the son of a sharecropper in depression-era Walters, Oklahoma. Known as one of Oklahoma's hardest working state legislators, he defeated legendary OU football coach Bud Wilkinson to earn a place in the U.S. Senate. During his tumultuous career in Washington, Harris became a champion for science, civil rights and the Great Society programs of President Lyndon Johnson while his opposition to the Vietnam War cost him the support of many in his home state. Nationally popular and a close friend of the Kennedy family, Harris ran for President twice, but left politics by the age of 45. This month, Fred Harris discusses his life and career with Dick Pryor in the new OETA production, "A Conversation With...Fred Harris." Never a stranger to controversy, Harris talks about his political rise and fall, the turbulent 60's, "Potomac Fever," the changing face of American politics, and his "second career" as an author and college professor. "A Conversation With...Fred Harris" is a revealing interview with one of Oklahoma's most accomplished and discussed public figures.

Originally broadcast on April 13, 2010