Jay was born Sept. 12, 1928, in Philadelphia, the son of John A. Harris III and Elizabeth Flagler Harris.
He prepared at St. Paul’s School and majored in history at Princeton, where he was a member of Key and Seal. In 1966 he earned a master’s degree in governmental administration from Penn.
Formerly in investment banking, Jay spent his last 40 years supporting organizations in fields such as the environment, population control, energy efficiency, agriculture, politics, and international peace. He was active in the Sierra Club, the Center for Renewable Resources, the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, the International Club of Rome, the Campaign on Auto Pollution, Zero Population Growth, and Planned Parenthood.
He was a member of the League of Conservation Voters and of the Institute for Alternative Agriculture. He also served on the Arms Control Computer Network and was a member of the board of the Fund for Peace. Jay was a man who gave generously of both his time and substance.
Jay died Dec. 29, 2009, of complications from head trauma, having fallen while walking his dog. He is survived by his wife, Lawrie Ryerson Harris; sons Andy and Shepard; six grandchildren; and his former wife, Nancy Gwathmey Harris.more » « less