According to an article on, Jacob Harris, 73, an orthodontist who practiced in Bethesda and Washington for 34 years, has died of kidney failure related to Crohn’s disease.

Harris was one of the first local advocates of early orthodontics. Among his patients was first daughter Amy Carter, who roller-skated from the White House to appointments at his office as Secret Service agents jogged alongside her.
Harris conducted extensive research and lectured on the issue of cleft palates and the requirements for effective treatment. One of the youngest people accepted into the Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists, Harris subsequently served as the society’s president in 1996. He was also a member of the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity.

His lifelong love of opera led him to become a supernumerary with the Washington Opera Company. His enthusiasm and acting skills brought him increasingly prominent roles over 2 decades, including a pas de deux with the lead tenor in Don Pasquale and a comedic portrayal of the doddering valet Ambrogio in a 1995 production of Rossini’s Barber of Seville, about which Washington Post music critic Tim Page wrote, "There was worthy support from Marianne Cornetti as Berta and Jacob Harris as a shivering, shuddering Ambrogio."

Harris is survived by his wife of 48 years, Sylvia Harris of Chevy Chase, Md; two children, Josh Harris of New York and Gabe Harris of Reston, Va; and seven grandchildren.