Statement on the Passing of Dr. Percy Harris
It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the passing of our community’s first African-American physician and a stalwart for human prosperity: Dr. Percy Harris. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone today, especially Dr. Harris’ family and loved ones.
Since 1957, Dr. Harris practiced medicine and not only treated countless bodies, but helped to mold and elevate our collective consciousness. Whether it was breaking the color barrier by purchasing a home on Bever Avenue here in Cedar Rapids or by becoming the first black member of the Iowa Board of Regents, serving as president of our local chapter of the NAACP, or Chief of Staff at St. Luke’s Hospital or our very own Linn County Medical Examiner, Dr. Harris was a living example for all races, creeds and ethnicities. He gave so much of his time, talents, and energies so that we could all have a better life. We as a community must do all that we can to live up to his prodigious legacy.