pioneer broadcast journalist, WWJ Detroit
Fran Harris (born in 1909) is the first woman broadcast journalist to be inducted in the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame. Harris, Detroit’s first woman radio broadcaster, began her career in 1930 at WWJ-Radio in Detroit and received the distinguished Peabody Award in 1949 for a series on sex offenders, then a controversial subject for radio journalism. Harris was an interviewing specialist on radio, and over the years her guests included everyone from Eleanor Roosevelt to Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.. In 1946, she became the first journalist in Detroit to conduct a televison interview. When regular commercial broadcastig began a year later, she developed innovative programs for Detroit audiences. Harris continued in radio until 1974, when she left broadcasting to establish her own public relations firm. She continues to be active in journalism as a freelance writer.