Photojournalist, Charles “Teenie” Harris

Camera used by Teenie Harris.
Gift from Charles A. Harris and Beatrice Harris in memory of Charles "Teenie" Harris.

Photojournalist, Charles “Teenie” Harris (1908–1998) produced one of the largest and most significant visual records of 20th-century African American life during his 40-year career. Many of his photographs appeared in the Pittsburgh Courier, a prominent black newspaper where Harris worked on staff from 1941 to 1975.

Mostly self-taught, with just an eighth-grade education, Harris used his camera to tell diverse and eloquent stories of Pittsburgh’s black community. Harris began his professional career in 1937, taking photographs for a short-lived black newsmagazine called Flash! That same year, he opened his own studio in the Hill District, the center of Pittsburgh’s black community.

Known as a man of style himself, Harris produced glamorous portraits of both celebrities and ordinary people. After he joined the Pittsburgh Courier staff, he continued to operate the photo studio to supplement his income. Harris earned the nickname “One Shot” for his efficient camera technique as a press photographer.