Albert J. Harris received Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University in 1930. He joined Queens College in 1949 as an associate professor after teaching in Indiana, Maryland, and New York. He was Professor of Education and lead the Psycho-Educational Clinic at Queens College from 1951 to 1964. Next he served as the Director of the Office of Research and Evaluation in the Division of Teacher Education at the City University of New York. He wrote several books, including the seminal classic How to Increase Reading Ability that went through nine editions and Effective Teaching of Reading. Harris was one of the founders of the International Reading Association (now the International Literacy Association) serving as President from 1957-1958. Dr. Harris retired in 1968.
...Dr. Harris was one of the truly greats in the field of reading and one of the Association's strongest leaders. He served as IRA's president during 1957-58, continuing his support through the years. Through his generosity the Albert J. Harris Award was established, with the first award "for an outstanding contribution to the diagnosis and/or remediation of reading or learning disabilities" given in 1975. He will be missed by all who knew him... by Bob Jones, October 16, 1990 (from a memo to IRA Board of Directors and IRA Past Presidents)