OBITUARY: Norman Harris sports writer & activist who coined the word jogger

#AceHistoryNews – Dec.15: Norman Harris, who has died aged 75, was more than just a noted sportswriter – he was a sporting activist who gave momentum to the jogging boom in the 1970s. He even claimed to have coined the word jogger. Typically, it amused Norman rather than annoyed him that others disputed this. He reckoned he introduced the word in the New Zealand Herald in 1962 when he called a group of middle-aged runners, who were in search of a name, the Auckland Joggers’ Club. He liked the idea that he had started a semantic argument.

Youngest of five children of Edward and Ruby Harris, Norman grew up on a farm near Ngaruawahia, New Zealand, attended Hamilton high school and briefly went to Auckland University before abandoning his parents’ plans for him to go into teaching in favour of taking up a radio copywriter’s job. He joined the New Zealand Herald in 1959.


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