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Senator Harris


In Memoriam

Senator Harris Wofford (1926-2019) represented the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States Senate from 1991 to 1994. In the Bob Casey campaign for Governor in 1986, Wofford was chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and then served as Gov. Casey’s Secretary of Labor and Industry. He was president of Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, PA from 1970 to 1978. In the 1960s, Wofford served as President Kennedy’s Special Assistant for Civil Rights, and worked closely with Sargent Shriver in organizing the Peace Corps. Later he served as the Peace Corps’ Special Representative to Africa and its Associate Director. In 1949 he and his wife Clare had a fellowship in India to study Gandhi, after which they wrote the book India Afire. Wofford became an advisor to Martin Luther King in the 1950s after the Montgomery Bus Boycott. He was counsel to Father Theodore Hesburgh of Notre Dame on the first U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1958-60. During Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign he was the initiator of John Kennedy’s call to Coretta King when her husband was jailed in Georgia. In 1965, as the only administration official to do so, he walked the four days with King and the other marchers from Selma to Montgomery. After Rick Santorum defeated him in 1994, Wofford was appointed by President Clinton to be CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps, the Senior Corps, Service-Learning and other national service programs. Senator Wofford served as the spokesperson for the Experience Wave, an organization working to expand opportunities for older, experienced citizens to volunteer in public service or work in“encore” careers that contribute to their community. Wofford also participated with Pennsylvania state leaders in a National Governors Association Policy Academy on Senior Engagement. He was co-authoring an AARP report on civic engagement trends and the experience of volunteering by older Americans. He was the Pennsylvania co-chair with Senator Santorum of the One Campaign—inspired by Bono and nationally co-chaired by Senators Daschle and Frist to provide aid and support to nations fighting extreme poverty and disease. Wofford was on the boards of America’s Promise (which he chaired after founding chairman General Colin Powell became Secretary of State), Youth Service America, the Points of Light Institute-HandsOn Network, and serves on the Leadership Council of Service Nation. Senator Wofford authored five books, including Of Kennedys and Kings: Making Sense of the Sixties. He was a graduate of the University of Chicago and of both Howard and Yale law schools. In 1954, he was the first white man to graduate from Howard University School of Law.