Henry B. Harris was born in St. Louis Dec. 1, 1866. His father, William Harris, a theatrical manager of note, is now associated with the firm of Klaw & Erlanger.
The son received his education at the public schools in St. Louis and later in Boston, to which city his parents moved while he was yet a boy. It was in the Massachusetts capital that Harris got his first training as a theatrica man, becoming connected with the famous old Howard Athenaeum there. He remained identified with that house for several years, leaving it to become a partner in the firm of Rich & Harris, for many years active in the theatrical history of Boston. It was during his association with this firm that he laid the foundations of his future success ventures. Among the stars whom he managed in a number of successful plays at this time were May Irwin, Pete Dailey and Mrs. Langtry.
He also produced 'The Climbers,' with Amelia Bingham in the principal feminine role, and the success of this play went far toward paving the way for Harris' entry into New York. After launching Robert Edeson on his starring career Harris became manager of the Hudson Theater in 1903.
He acquired the Hackett theater in 1906 and soon after won one of the biggest victories of his whole career with Charles Klein's 'The Lion and the Mouse.''