American journalist and activist David Victor Harris passed away at the age of 76 after being diagnosed with lung cancer.
On February 6, 2023, the death of the icon of the movement against the Vietnam War was officially announced by his family. It was informed that the 76-year-old Harris died at his home in Mill Valley, California.
David Harris The National Figure
Harris was a national figure of the 1960s who inspired young men to oppose being recruited to serve in the Vietnam War. He was born in Fresno, California on February 28, 1946, and served jail sentencing for over 20 months.
Apart from his career as an activist, he is also a writer and worked as a national and international magazine journalist for about 40 years.
His career as a writer started in March 1973, when he was approached by Jann Wenner, the founder, and publisher of Rolling Stone magazine, who offered Harris to give a try in the magazine.
After leaving Rolling Stone, he joined New York Times Magazine on a contract and worked here for more than a decade. And later leaving his job, he started concentrating more on his own books and published around eleven by this time.
The author of Goliath grew up in a politically conventional Californian family who wished him to build a career either in the military or the FBI.
Elaine Jensen Harris, his mother, was a housewife and a devout Christian scientist while his father, Clifton G. Harris Jr was a lawyer specializing in real estate.
He has an older brother, Clifton G. Harris III. In 1964, Harris was doing his sophomore year when he had a revelation that changed the whole perspective of his mother nation, and until his death, he never happened to get back what he lost years back.
Harris Was The Greatest Inspiration To Youth
The anti-war activist was the greatest inspiration for the youths who suffered the most from the war as they were forced to become a part of the war.
The youths protested by burning down the draft cards and even opposed the idea of being one who must suffer at a time they must be enjoying their life the most.
The great boxer Muhammed Ali was also a part of the movement of boycotting the induction into the military and he was sentenced to prison in 1967.
Later in 1971, the Supreme Court overturned Ali’s conviction. Even though Harris’ prominence in the movement is lesser than other leaders, he made a name for himself by speaking opposing the war and inspiring young men to boycott the drafts.
In 1967, he quit Stanford before his graduation and for about a year or more, he worked speaking against the war.
And the same year, in 1967 he met folk musician Joan Baez, who along with her mother and 70 other women protested at the doorways of the Armed Forces Induction Center in order to prevent the young inductees from being taken inside for their military induction.
And during this period, both of them formed a close bond with each other and within three months, the duo got married.
The news of their marriage was spread through the press and was called the ‘Wedding of the Century.’
The duo got married on March 26, 1968, in New York City and moved to Los Altos Hills. Later, in 1969, Harris was taken to prison as he refused induction into the armed forces and at this time Baez was pregnant and gave birth to their son Gabriel on December 2, 1969.
He was released later but three months after the release, the couple got separated and were divorced in 1973. The duo shared custody of their son and remained on good terms until death.
In 1977, Harris remarried Lacey Fosburgh, New York Times reporter and novelist. The couple shared a daughter Sophie who was born in 1983.
Later in 1993, Fosburgh who was diagnosed with breast cancer passed away due to some complications.
And three years later, Harris was in a relationship with physician Cheri Forrester whom he married in 2011. The couple was living in Mill Valley where he had his last days.
The Vietnam War era was so crucial in the life of Harris as it made him in a position that gave him a place among the masses.
He was the one who along with the youth of the time worked against the war and encouraged all to mass civil disobedience. Along with him, his ex-wife, folk singer Joan Baez worked to strengthen the power of youth.
At that time, Harris was of the opinion that fighting face to face for their own freedom is far better than running away being a coward in order to escape from the service they are being compelled to take up in their life.
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