Bio

Rome-based writer and lecturer, Judith Harris was born in Bay Village, Ohio, and attended Northwestern University, from which she was graduated with honors in English in 1961. Further studies were of fine arts at the Cleveland Art Institute in Cleveland, Ohio, and of French literature at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

After working three years as a reporter for the Cleveland Press, she entered the U.S. Information Agency under the legendary Edward R. Murrow and, following six months in Washington, D.C., was sent to Rome, Italy, where she attained the rank of Attaché of Embassy in the cultural division. At the time women officers in the U.S. diplomatic service could not be married, by law, and so after five years she resigned to marry and raise two children.

She also returned to journalism, working primarily as a freelance journalist and regular contributor to, among others, the London Evening News, Reuters news agency, Time magazine, and the Wall Street Journal. She has worked on special assignments for the London Observer, the New York Times, NBC TV and BBC TV, and for RAI radio she conducted a regular program on Italian culture for twenty-five years.

Her articles on archaeology have appeared in Archaeology magazine, Archaeology Odyssey, and Biblical Archaeology and, on cultural and other topics, in NewsdayThe New Republic, and, most recently, Italy italy, Internazionale and ARTnews. She speaks French and Italian.

Among the memorable personalities she has interviewed are novelists Gore Vidal, William Styron, Alberto Moravia, Leonardo Sciascia and Georges Simenon; actors Isabella Rossellini and Peter Ustinov; composer Giancarlo Menotti; the ballerina Carla Fracci; a Red Brigades gun runner, an extremely sinister Mafia boss, Italian President Sandro Pertini, a Taliban guerrilla leader, an Iranian Minister of Health, a Turkish arms dealer, and actress and ambassador Shirley Temple.

Her most interesting jobs otherwise were tracking opium traders in Pakistan, working for a caterer in Cleveland while in high school and serving as an editorial assistant to an historian of 19th century French economics, Prof. William Jaffe. For her research into terrorism she was included in the George Foster Peabody Award for Broadcast Journalism. Judith Harris writes a regular blog for www.i-italy.org.