Archive - March 28, 2010

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Mad Woman At The Peace Corps: Elizabeth Forsling Harris

Mad Woman At The Peace Corps: Elizabeth Forsling Harris

Betty Harris was what we used to call a ‘a piece of work.’ She was thirty-nine-years old in 1961 and had been a political organizer and a public relations executive in Dallas, Texas, before arriving in D.C. She had also been a pioneering journalist in New York City before women had such jobs, working with among others, Newsweek and NBC. When she arrived at the Peace Corps in 1961 she had just gone through a bitter divorce with Leon Harris, the son of man whose department store in Dallas that became the model of Neiman-Marcus. Betty always, in fact, looked as if she had just stepped out of the pages of a Neiman-Marcus catalog. ‘Chic’ is the term that Coates Redmon uses to describe Betty in Come As You Are. Betty Harris knew Shriver longer than anyone else at the Peace Corps, having first met the man in the 1940s when they both . . .

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