Member Biography

Frank Joseph Harris 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1927-1928       45 Republican
1929-1930       45 Republican
1931-1932       45 Republican
1933-1934       45 Republican
1935-1936       45 Republican

COUNTIES: Allegheny  


12/23/1880 - 03/11/1946

Frank Joseph Harris (R45) Allegheny (Part) County 1927-1936

Early Life: 

Frank Joseph Harris, born December 23, 1880, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, son of John and Bridget Gaughan Harris; Pittsburgh public school education, Hancock School (i); theatrical manager; engaged, real estate and insurance business; elected, treasurer, Chartiers Township, 1910-1912; elected, treasurer, Allegheny County, 1912-1915; married, Cecelia Elizabeth Dugan Harris, 1913 (d.1931), one son John Paul Harris, four daughters, Sister Mary Denis, Mrs. James J. Moore, Adeline, Genevieve; elected, Allegheny County Commissioner, 1916-1919; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1927-1936; unsuccessful campaign, Lieutenant Governor, 1938; chair, Allegheny County Republican Committee, 1938-1941; elected, delegate, Republican National Convention, 1943-1944; died, March 11, 1946 (aged 65) Mercy Hospital, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, interment, Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. 

Early Career:

Director, Harris Amusement Company; President, director, Frank J. Harris Real Estate Company; partner with Pittsburgh Mayor David L. Lawrence, Harris-Lawrence Insurance Company; director, Rosella Foundling  and Maternity, Saint Joseph’s Hospital, South Side; director, vice president, Washington Trust Company; director, Pittsburgh Athletic Club; member, Saint Philips Parish, Crafton.  

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, treasurer Chartiers Township, 1910-1912.  

Elected, treasurer, Allegheny County, 1912-1915.

Elected, Allegheny County Commissioner, 1916-1919.  

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 45th district, Allegheny (Part) County, 1927-1936; elected, vacancy, death, brother, Senator John Paul Harris; member, Banks and Building and Loan Association, Canal and Island Navigation, Congressional Apportionment, Education, Elections, Exposition Affairs, Municipal Affairs, Pension and Gratuities, Public Printing, Public Roads and Highways and Public Supply of Light, Heat and Water Committees.   

Unsuccessful campaign Lieutenant Governor, 1938. Gifford Pinchot, Governor

Chair, Allegheny County Republican Committee, 1938-1941.

Elected, delegate, Republican National Convention 1943-1944.


On June 19, 1905, his brother, John P. Harris and Harry Davis opened a five-cents-admission movie theater in a Pittsburgh storefront, naming it the Nickelodeon and setting the style for the first common type of movie theater. 

Hancock School, located at 818-20 Webster Avenue, had an interesting story connected with its naming. After the initial naming of the old Third Ward School for the leader of the Republican Party, Ulysses S. Grant, the Board of Directors in this district promptly retaliated by naming this school for General Winfield Scott Hancock, who represented the rival political party. Adult foreign classes were taught at the school from 1927 until 1940. The school was closed on July 1, 1937, and razed in 1945.

Brother, John Paul Harris, Pennsylvania State Senate, 45th district, Allegheny County 1923-1926.

John Paul Harris  - Pennsylvania Senate Library (


Cox, Harold. "Senate Members H"Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.

The Pennsylvania Manual, (1927). Dight, J.C., (Director). Whitmore, R.E., (Compiler). Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 965, 970, Biographical Sketches of Senators, page 990.

Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) Monday, March 11, 1946, Page 13  

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) Tuesday, March 12, 1946, Page 5

Frank Joseph Harris (1880-1946) - Find a Grave Memorial