During the first 18 months of the O.J. Simpson case, Harris broke hundreds of exclusive stories for CNN, from key defense strategies to prosecution evidence that linked Simpson to the double homicide. Harris was the first reporter to learn the jury had reached a verdict. Analyzing media coverage in the Simpson case, the Los Angeles Times wrote that fellow reporters “applauded Art Harris of CNN for getting a number of stories before anyone else.”
Harris was also part of CNN’s Emmy Award-winning coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing. He won an American Women in Radio & Television Award and a WorldFest Gold Award in 1996 for the “positive portrayal of women.” The story: a profile of a Georgia prosecutor who coped with her fiancÃ©’s murder by crusading for crime victims in court.
“Art discovered me,” says CNN Headline News host Nancy Grace, the former undefeated Atlanta prosecutor. Harris won a 1999 Golden Triangle Award for his profile of a bald beauty queen with alopecia areata, an auto-immune disorder that causes baldness. Harris is among 4 million Americans who have alopecia areata. He also covered the Washington, D.C. sniper, and the deadly West VirginiaÂ copycat.
At The Washington Post, Harris covered everything from Haitian immigrants to the Atlanta child murders and subsequent trial of Wayne Williams, as well as the rise and fall of Rev. Jimmy Swaggart who blasted Harris as “porno writer” for airing exclusive photos of him with a prostitute. He called a press conference, and threatened to sue; then said God had advised him to forgive Harris, and dropped it.