Legendary Dallas Cowboy defensive safety and JDRF champion Cliff Harris has been named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Centennial Class of 2020.
Harris will be inducted along with 15 other NFL greats — called some of the “greatest performers and contributors in the history of the sport” — on February 1, the night before the Super Bowl.
“We could not be happier or prouder of Cliff, whose distinguished career on the field has been followed by years of passionate service to and support for the T1D community and JDRF in helping drive research for cures and improving lives,” said Amy Camp, JDRF Dallas Chapter Executive Director.
Harris‘ 10-year career with the Dallas (1970-1979) included selection to six Pro Bowls, and he was named a first-team All-Pro four times. Nicknamed “Captain Crash,” he was named to the 1970s All-Decade team and became a member of the Cowboys Ring of Honor in 2004. During his career, he tallied 29 interceptions and 18 fumble recoveries.
Dallas made it to the postseason in nine of Harris’ 10 seasons, including five Super Bowl appearances with two victories.
Cliff’s passion for JDRF and improving the lives of people living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) is fueled by his father, O.J “Buddy” Harris.
O.J. was on his way to a successful college football career when he chose to join the Army to become a World War II fighter pilot. During a medical exam at age 24, he was diagnosed with T1D, which immediately ended his aviation career. Cliff saw firsthand the toll T1D took on his father’s life, the challenges he overcame and him ultimately, losing his sight.
Since then, Cliff has channeled the inspiration of his father’s courage into fighting hard for those with living with T1D until there is a cure.
Cliff is an active and impactful JDRF volunteer in the Dallas area, hosting annual fundraisers and attending chapter galas. His incredible passion led him to create the Cliff Harris JDRF Reunion Golf Classic, which has raised more than $3.2M for JDRF to date, and averages about $350,000 annually.
In May 2019, JDRF’s Dream Gala themed “Champions for a Cure” honored the Dallas Cowboy legend and raised $2.08M. Beside him (as co-chairs) were fellow former Cowboys champions Roger Staubach, Kelcy Warren, Gene Stallings, and Charlie Waters.
JDRF congratulates Cliff for his success and dedication both on the field and for the T1D community!