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Mort Harris

January 1, 2019

Philanthropist and Entrepreneur

Mort Harris is a philanthropist and entrepreneur in Detroit, Michigan.

Mort has long been a successful businessman, serving as president of Mercier Corporation a metallurgical supplier which he purchased in 1952. Later he acquired Erie Coke and Chemical Company, Ohio. It was the largest privately owned coke company in the United States for producing steel, iron and sugar. In 1999 Mort purchased the largest division of General Motors to survive with two co-founders, and named the company American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc.

He was the co-founder of Euroad, an over the road trucking company that provided logistics in Poland, when it was sold it was one of the largest trucking companies in Europe. He is also a renowned investor and entrepreneur in numerous real estate venture, including: hotels, apartments, shopping centers and mobile home communities.

Mort had a decorated military career, where he served as a Flying Fortress First Pilot in WWII. He flew 33 missions in WWII, and received three Distinguished Flying Crosses, six air medals, Polish Medal of Honor, Presidential Citation and led the mission over Warsaw to drop supplies and ammunition to the Polish. Mort was met in Moscow by Averell Harriman, American ambassador to the Soviet Union, who led the talks between the two countries during the crucial years of WWII.

In 1987, Mort and a contemporary engineer flew a personal light engine aircraft across the North Atlantic breaking a world record. Additionally he was recently knighted into the French Legion of Honor by the President of France.

Mort’s countless philanthropic investments in Southeastern Michigan, through the Mort Harris Foundation, impact Henry Ford Health System, Brigitte and Mort Harris Stroke Center, Wayne State University, The Mort Harris Fitness Center, The Wayne State Medical School, Adult Literacy and many more. Recently, he supported funding for the Harris Med Direct Scholars program into perpetuity.

He supports the Detroit Institute of Arts, The Detroit Symphony, The Detroit Science Center, The Detroit Riverfront, Federation, The Henry, Boys and Girls Club, Oakland Family Services and numerous other Southeastern Michigan organizations.

His latest investment into healthcare will be The Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion, named for his late wife Brigitte, to be completed in 2020.