Skip to main content

Richard Harris papers

Identifier: umja0147

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of materials from the B.W. Harris Manufacturing Company and Zero King Outerware. This includes: photos, correspondence, news clippings, history, fashion books, catalogs, and fabric samples.


  • 1916-1986


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.


This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

Richard "Dick" E. Harris was born in St. Paul in 1932 to parents Charlie and Sylvia. He graduated from St. Paul Academy in 1950 and Yale University in 1954 and spent many years with the family business, B.W. Harris Manufacturing. B.W. Harris was a West St. Paul based clothing manufacturer established in 1916. They manufactured men's topcoats, sportswear and outerwear under the Zero King brand name. The company was established by Barney W. Harris as a fur business, both in export and import, but by 1940 chose to focus on men's outwear instead. When Barney W. Harris passed away, his brother Charles Harris succeeded him, followed by Barney's son Joseph C. "Jim" Harris in 1963. In 1978 the business had factory locations in Stillwater, Lake City, and St. Paul and employed more than 400 people. They had sales offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, and Dallas. Richard acted as vice president and eventually president. In 1978, B.W. Harris was sold to Palm Beach, Inc., but in 1983 the Harris family repurchased the company. The company eventually folded in 1992.

Richard Harris married Marilyn (DeeDee) with whom he had four children. He passed away in 2017.


0.20 Cubic Feet (1 half Hollinger box)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of materials from the B.W. Harris Manufacturing Company, a men's clothing company owned by Jewish businessman Richard Harris.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest by Richard Harris in 1995.

Richard Harris papers, 1916-1986
Erin Smerage
May 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Upper Midwest Jewish Archives Collecting Area