June 20, 1955
Bestselling American author E. Lynn Harris was born in Flint, Michigan. Harris sold IBM computers for thirteen years before publishing his first novel independently. He attended the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), where he became the school’s first black yearbook editor, first black male Razorback cheerleader, and president of his fraternity. He graduated with honors in journalism and was honored by the university in 1999 as a distinguished alumnus for his professional achievements. Harris returned to UA in the fall of 2003 to teach literature and writing. He lived in Fayetteville while teaching at UA but also had homes in Atlanta and Houston, Texas. Harris died in Los Angeles, California, in 2009.