Harris, Titus Holliday (1892–1969)

By: Chester R. Burns

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: January 1, 1995

Titus Holliday Harris, pioneer neuropsychiatrist, was born on November 11, 1892, in Fulshear, Texas, the son of Robert Locke and Sally (Holliday) Harris. After studies at the Allen Academy (1908–11), Harris earned a bachelor's degree from Southwestern University (1915) and a medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch (1919). As a college athlete Harris was captain of the Southwestern University football team in 1913 and baseball team in 1914; he gave up a promising career as major-league baseball catcher because of his opposition to playing on Sunday. After completing an internship at John Sealy Hospital, Harris became an instructor in the Department of Internal Medicine at UTMB (1920). During several summers he acquired additional training in neurology and psychiatry, at the New York Neurological Institute, the Bellevue Hospital Department of Psychiatry, the Manhattan State Hospital in New York, the Institute for Child Guidance in New York, and the Denver Psychopathic Hospital. Harris became professor and first chairman of the Department of Neurology and Psychiatry at UTMB in 1926 and remained in that role for thirty-six years. During those years he established one of the earliest residency training programs for psychiatry in the Southwest. Harris received certification by the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry in 1934. He established a monthly scientific journal, Diseases of the Nervous System, and remained an editor of that journal for twenty-seven years. He was coauthor of many papers in professional journals and served as an associate editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry. Harris was a member of thirty professional societies and received numerous awards. In 1955 he received the Hogg Foundation Award in recognition of his work in mental health studies. He served as president of the Southern Psychiatric Association, the Central Neuropsychiatric Association, the Texas Neuropsychiatric Association, and the Texas Society for Mental Hygiene. He was elected vice president of the American Psychiatric Association. To honor Harris and provide a forum for annual professional meetings, former students established the Titus Harris Society in 1960. That same year he received an honorary doctor of science degree from Southwestern University. He married Laura Randall Hutchings on December 17, 1927, and they had four children. He died in Galveston on April 22, 1969.

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston: A Seventy-five Year History (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Health and Medicine
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and Neuropsychiatrists

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Chester R. Burns, “Harris, Titus Holliday,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 26, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/harris-titus-holliday.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995

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