George Harris was an amature boxer from the age of 12. In 1952 he joined the the Air Force and was stationed at Travis Air Force Base for medical combat training. A patient of his offered to show George where he played Judo when he wasn't flying. That patient was Phil Porter.
In 1957 and 1958 Harris won the National Championships and the Air Force took notice and moved him to the physical fitness unit where he trained the men in hand-to-hand combat. He learned judo, karate, aikido and ju jitsu.
George Harris was a member of the first US Olympic judo team in 1964. This American Judo team consisted of four men, a Jew, an African-American, a Japanese-American and a Native American. George Harris was the African-American on this team.
George starred in the one and only Judo movie ever made. It was called the Gentle Tiger.
Harris had a long involvement with military judo in the US, and later served as president of the United States Judo Association.