George Harris (judoka)

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George Harris
Medal record
Representing  United States
Men's judo
1964 Olympics Finished Fourth[1]
Pan American Championships
Gold medal – first place 1958 Pan American Judo Championships Heavyweight[1]
Gold medal – first place 1963 Pan American Judo Championships Heavyweight[1]

George Lee Harris (January 15, 1933 – January 7, 2011) was a member of the first United States Olympic judo team. He was born in Kittrell, North Carolina.[2] He was a 9th dan in Judo. Harris began his judo career after 1952.[3] Harris while speaking at Jack Krystek’s School of Judo stated he was initially a boxer before becoming a Judoka. [4]

He was a two-time gold medalist in the Pan American Games (1960 and 1963), four-time United States National Champion (1957, 1958, ...), and six time Air Force Champion.[3] He also trained at the Kodokan where he earned his blackbelt.[1][3]

Harris had a long involvement with military judo in the United States Air Force,[3] and later served as president of the United States Judo Association.

Harris starred in a feature film tiled "Judo's Gentle Tiger" and also known as "The Year of the Gentle Tiger". A forerunner to "The Karate Kid", it was shot in the late 1970s, and was later broadcast as a NBC daytime program. Harris also appeared on talk shows and was twice a guest on "To Tell the Truth".

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