View Full Version : Brother of Franco Harris passed away

08-15-2006, 12:47 PM
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Harris family


Obituary: Pete Harris / All-American footballer brother of Franco
Died Aug. 9, 2006
Tuesday, August 15, 2006

By Ray Fittipaldo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pete Harris, an All-American safety at Penn State University and the younger brother of former Steelers great Franco Harris, died Wednesday in West Palm Beach, Fla. He was 49.

The Burlington County Times of New Jersey reported that the cause of death was a heart attack.

Mr. Harris played in the shadow of his brother, the Hall of Fame running back, but he managed to carve his own niche at Penn State. Mr. Harris played for the Nittany Lions in 1977, 1978 and 1980.

He was named an All-American following his junior season by United Press International after leading the nation with 10 interceptions for 155 yards.

Mr. Harris also had 28 tackles and recovered two fumbles on a defense that helped the 1978 Lions to an 11-1 record. The only loss that season came against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, a loss that denied Penn State its first national championship.

In one memorable game that season against No. 5 Maryland, Mr. Harris had three interceptions and helped Penn State defeat the Terrapins 27-3 at Beaver Stadium. The victory propelled Penn State to its first No. 1 ranking in 91 years of football.

Mr. Harris sat out the '79 season due to academic difficulties, but came back as a starter in '80. He helped the '80 team to a 10-2 record and a victory over Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. He had interceptions in victories against West Virginia, Miami and Pitt that season.

Mr. Harris holds the Penn State single-season record for interceptions along with Neal Smith and is tied for second place with Mr. Smith behind Darren Perry for most career interceptions (15).

"Pete was somebody that everyone liked," said Penn State coach Joe Paterno. "His teammates really liked being around him. Pete was a gifted athlete. The Harris family is such a great family. It's such a shame, a tragedy."

At the time of his death, Mr. Harris was an executive chef at the PGA National Golf Club in West Palm Beach.

He is survived by his mother, Gina Harris of Mount Holly, N.J.; four brothers, Mario of Cincinnati, Franco of Pittsburgh, Giuseppe of Mount Holly and Kelly of Cliffside Park, N.J.; and four sisters, Daniela Miller and Alvara Harris, both of Mount Holly, Marisa Lattimore of Fort Washington, Montgomery County, and Luanna Scott of Denver.

The funeral will be tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the Perinchief Chapels, 438 High St. Mount Holly, N.J. Contributions may be made to the Burlington County chapter of the American Heart Association, 600 S. White Horse Pike, Audubon, NJ 08106.

08-15-2006, 01:06 PM
OMG what a tragic story - he was so young! :crying02: I live by the saying - live live every day as if it were your last. My sympathies and prayers go out to Franco, Dana, Doc and the entire Harris family. Rest in peace, Mr. Harris.

08-15-2006, 03:45 PM
49 years old. That's a damn shame.

I've had the opportunity to meet Franco on many occasions. My prayers go out the Harris family. God Bless.

08-15-2006, 05:27 PM
OMG...very upsetting...not just because it's Franco's brother. To die that young is unfair. But life often times is just that. Besides Lambert, Franco is my favorite Steeler. I've met him several times and he treated more than just the fan I am. He held my son the last time. I'll have to dig out the pic and post it. I have him on video holding him too. Very great feeling!!! My prayers go out to Franco and his family.

tony hipchest
08-15-2006, 05:45 PM
thats a bummer for franco and his familly. rip.

on a lighter note why is it no suprise that franco had a brother named "giuseppe"?

08-15-2006, 09:52 PM
I can't believe Pete died. So sad.

When Pete was at Penn State, he was going to be put off the team because of grades. Franco went on campus, grabbed Pete and told him he would be spending all of his spare time in the library or studying in his room. He promised Pete that he would show up at any time to check on him and his grades and threatened him with bodily harm.

Pete pulled up his grades but I'm pretty sure Pete had to sit out that one year until he succeeded.
(read that in the Steeler Newspaper but don't have a copy now. I also checked how Pete was doing)

R.I.P. Pete

08-15-2006, 10:17 PM
Great story CAH. Thanks for sharing it! :smile:

08-15-2006, 10:41 PM
Anyone know why he never made it in the NFL?

08-16-2006, 06:12 AM
Anyone know why he never made it in the NFL?

He had a great sophmore year. I believe he still holds or is tied with the most INT's in one season for Penn State with 10. Then he had to sit out a year in college ball (grades) and was never really the same.

08-16-2006, 06:27 AM
Sad news......condolences to Franco and his family.....

08-16-2006, 08:50 AM
It is very sad news...49 is too young...

Keeping Franco and his family in my thoughts and prayers....

08-16-2006, 03:04 PM
:tombstone Thoughts and prayers to Franco and his family.