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Dede Harris has a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Illinois, a social therapy degree from Northeastern Illinois University, and a master’s degree in social service administration from the University of Chicago. Throughout her career, she has held diverse roles including being an elementary school teacher, a social worker, a housing director, an insurance agent, an author, and a multimedia artist. Her artwork has been showcased in galleries across the U.S. The film A Holocaust Trilogy, directed and produced by Ellen Palestrant and Eric Cosh, features three sculptures that she created, which, currently, are exhibited in the Illinois Holocaust Museum. Among her accomplishments, she has authored several books, including The Children's Tree of Terezin. 

Her husband, Sam, has been a constant source of inspiration, motivation, and support. As a child survivor of the Holocaust and the visionary behind the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, he has played a significant role in shaping Dede's dedication to Holocaust education. Recently, she has become a docent at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.

In addition to her professional pursuits, she cherishes her roles as a wife, mother, grandmother, artist, and author. She and her husband split their time between Kildeer, Ill, and Naples, Fla. They are blessed with two children, Julie and David, although David is no longer with them. Julie and her husband, Jeff, have gifted them with two grandchildren, Jeremy and Jessica.