Franco Harris, the former National Football League (NFL) fullback with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Seattle Seahawks, died aged 72 on Wednesday. His family confirmed his death to KDKA-TV.
The cause of Harris’ death was not immediately known.
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Who was Franco Harris?
Franco Harris was born on March 7, 1950, in Fort Dix, New Jersey. He was an NFL professional who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks as a fullback. After playing college football at the Penn State Nittany Lions, he was drafted by the Steelers in the first round of the 1972 NFL draft.
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He was with the Steelers for 12 years while his final season in the league was with the Seahawks. Harris was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.
During World War II, his father, Cad Harris, participated in the military and was based in Italy. His mother, Gina Parenti Harris, an Italian native who later became a “war bride,” immigrated to the United States with her husband when the war was over.
Harris attended Penn State University after earning his high school diploma from Rancocas Valley Regional High School in Mount Holly Township, New Jersey, in 1968.
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Harris was married to Dana Dokmanovic and has a son ‘Dok’ Harris who ran for the Mayor of Pittsburgh in 2009. When the results came, Dok was placed second receiving 25% of the vote from Pittsburgh.
Harris has served as part of the advisory board at Penn State’s Center for Food Innovation. In 2009, he was named a Conti Professor by Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management.