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Saul J. Harris papers

 Collection 0261-MDHC

Saul J. Harris, a health and radiation physicist and nuclear scientist, campaigned as a Republican in the 1978 election for the congressional seat in the 5th District of Maryland (Northern Prince George's County, Maryland and Takoma Park in Montgomery County, Maryland). The majority of the material in this collection outlines Harris' position on tax cuts and inflation. The collection also includes information on Harris' opponent, the Democratic incumbent Gladys Spellman, who won the election.


  • 1968 and 1978
  • Majority of material found within 1978

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


0.50 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

Materials pertaining to Saul J. Harris' 1978 election campaign for a U. S. House of Representatives seat in the 5th district of Maryland, which included northern Prince George's County and the Takoma Park region of Montgomery County. The collection dates from 1968 and 1978, but the majority of the papers are from 1978. The papers consist of biographical information about Harris, Harris' campaign literature and schedules, and correspondence from and to Harris from backers of his campaign. Also included are transcripts from public debates between Harris and Gladys Noon Spellman, notes on Harris' speeches and his positions on issues, in particular taxes and inflation. The papers also contain a profile of Gladys Noon Spellman as well as her financial information during the 1978 campaign.


Saul J. Harris was born in New York City, New York, on January 4, 1923. He received his B. S. in Physics from Queens College in 1943. He began his graduate work in Electrical Engineering at M. I. T. in 1943 but soon after entered the U. S. Army Signal Corps. Harris served in the U. S. Army from 1943 to 1946.

In 1946, Harris went to work for Western Electric Company in New York City as an engineer. From 1947 to 1951, Harris was a research associate and health physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York. From 1951 to 1955, Harris worked as a radiation physicist at the New York State Department of Labor. During this time, Harris chaired the New York State Advisory Committee that developed the first state comprehensive radiation protection code. Harris was manager of State and Local Activities at Atomic Industrial Forum, Inc., from 1955 to 1959.

In 1959, Harris received his M. S. in Industrial Management Engineering from Columbia University. From 1959 to 1961, Harris was a technical sales associate for Baird-Atomic Inc. in Valley Stream, New York. Harris worked his way up to Regional Radiological Health Representative and Acting Regional Environmental Control Director for Region II (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico) of the U. S. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare, a position that he held from 1961 to 1972. In 1963, Harris entered the graduate program in Public Administration at New York University and began work on his dissertation. He served as chairman of the New York Regional Conference on Radiological Health from 1961 to 1973 and directed New York City's Radiation Control Program from 1972 to 1975. From 1975 to 1978, Harris was the Nuclear Advisor for the National Association of Electric Companies.

A prolific author on atomic and nuclear energy, Harris wrote State Activities in Atomic Energy and The Impact of the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy on State and Local Government, published in 1958 and Nuclear Power Safety Economics, 1961.

In addition to his experience in the health industry, Saul Harris was also interested in politics. In 1978, he ran as the Republican candidate for the 5th Congressional district of Maryland, which included northern Prince George's County and the Takoma Park region of Montgomery County. Harris eventually lost the election to Gladys Noon Spellman, the Democratic incumbent. After his failed election campaign, Harris set up a St. Louis Chapter of the Health Physics Society. Until his death on October 15, 1983, in St. Louis, Missouri, Harris worked for the Union Electrical Company. Harris was married to Dorothy Davison Harris, with whom he had two sons, Mark and Robert.


This collection is organized as one series.

Series 1
1978 Election Campaign

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Alan Virta of Boise State University donated the papers of Saul J. Harris to the University of Maryland Libraries on July 19, 2004.

Processing Information

The papers were placed in acid-free folders and stored in an acid-free box.

Guide to the Saul J. Harris Papers
Processed by Steven Bookman.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742