Leslie Harris, the first graduate of Memorial University to later become its president, died Tuesday at age 78.
Born in St. Joseph’s, Placentia Bay, Harris joined Memorial’s history department in 1963 and became president in 1981, a post he held until 1990.
He was a member of the Order of Canada and was an internationally respected historian.Harris headed the review of the Northern Cod Stocks, the assessment led to the cod moratorium in 1992.
The university’s public orator, Shane O’Dea, told CBC News that work was Harris’s defining moment.
“It represents the best kind of public scholarship, where you provide an unpalatable answer to a terrible question,” O’Dea said. “And, the indication of Leslie Harris’s standing, they took it and they acted on it.”