John D. Harris is a retired Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge. He originally wanted to be a sports writer, and thought seriously about pursuing a career in journalism, but as a college freshman at UCLA, he took a political science class with a professor who encouraged him to change his goals from journalism to political science. John transferred to Berkeley and after graduating with Phi Beta Kappa Honors, John went to Boalt Law School at UC Berkeley.
After law school, John worked as a criminal prosecutor, civil defense lawyer, Municipal Court Commissioner, Municipal Court Judge and finally Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge, retiring in 2004. His wife, Marjorie, was and still is an OLLI member and introduced him to the program. When John perused the OLLI brochure, he said he just had to take the course, Baseball: The All American Sport in Our Culture.
“The teacher was a nice guy,” John says, “and I told him I still play softball every Saturday, and I invited him to come and play softball with us, and he did for a while until he had to have hip surgery and he dropped out. I’ve also taken International Cinema Series: Italy 1940-2000; New American Cinema: 1960s to Present; Nazis, Propaganda, and the Jews and The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll. I enjoy instructor-led, because it’s nice to not have to do any preparation for class. You can relax and great lecturers are laying it out for you, and they’re fun.”