Inducted June 16, 2000
From hurricanes and Elvis to campus riots and the Ku Klux Klan, Ron Harrist was right smack in the middle of some of the biggest stories in Mississippi for four decades. His byline was well-known to papers across the state, and his friendliness and eagerness to help the dozens of members who depend on AP have endeared him to veteran editors and rookie reporter alike.
Harriet is a native of Tampa, Fla., and a graduate of Mississippi College where he received a BS degree in education. He began his journalism career in 1964 with the Jackson Daily News. He joined the AP in Jackson in 1968 where he was a mainstay of the AP’s operation, training new staffers, advising members and helping direct news coverage in his position as news editor.
Perhaps the epitome of Ron’s dedication is his performance in 1992 when a tornado nearly demolished his home in Brandon. Harrist wrote a stirring first-person account of his ordeal for the wire and helped AP cover the story, despite his own hardship.
During his career, Harrist cared deeply about the dozens of AP print and broadcast members in the state. In workshops coordinated by AP, Ron helped scores of MPA members hone their editing skills. He dedicated his professional career to journalism in Mississippi.
Harrist retired from AP in 2009. He and his wife, Hendra, reside in Brandon and have two sons.