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Our Heritage

In 1975, Dr. Gordon S. Black, then a professor of political science at the University of Rochester in New York founded the Gordon S. Black Corporation—known today as Harris Interactive. Since then Harris Interactive has grown to become one of the largest market research and consulting firms in the world and the global leader in conducting online research.

Looking Back

In 1996, the Gordon S. Black Corporation (GSBC) acquired Louis Harris & Associates (LHA) from the Gannett Corporation. LHA was founded in New York City in 1956 by Louis Harris, who was John F. Kennedy’s pollster during JFK’s successful bid for the presidency in 1960. The acquisition of LHA brought with it The Harris Poll®—one of the world’s most recognized barometers of public opinion. Harris Interactive is proud to continue that important work by delivering Harris Poll® research results to the media and the general public, each week.

Other Growth Factors

  • Harris Black International Ltd. (HBI)—formed in 1997 from the unification of the Gordon S. Black Corporation and Louis Harris & Associates.
  • Internet-based research—in September 1997, HBI began building its Internet panel of respondents and creating the infrastructure necessary to conduct surveys online.
  • Initial public offering—Harris Interactive (NASDAQ: HPOL) went public on December 6, 1999, raising $86 million dollars to help propel its future growth.
  • Harris Poll OnlineSM Panel—our online survey panel consists of double-opted-in members from throughout North America and Western Europe who are invited to participate in our online research studies.


  • February 2001—custom research group Yankelovich Partners, Inc., a market research firm headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut.
  • August 2001—Market Research Solutions Limited, a privately owned UK market research firm located in Oxford, England.
  • November 2001—Total Research Corporation, a market research firm headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey and with offices in Europe.
  • March 2004—Paris-based online research firm Novatris, S.A., creating the largest pan-European online research panel.
  • September 2004—WirthlinWorldwide, Inc., a privately held premier opinion research and strategic consulting firm, headquartered in Reston, Virginia.
  • April 2007—MediaTransfer AG Netresearch & Consulting, a private European online research firm based in Hamburg, Germany which will provide access into the $2.2 billion German market research market - the fourth largest in the world.
  • August 2007—Decima Research, a leading Canadian research firm, and MarketShare, a private Asian research firm with co-located headquarters in Hong Kong and Singapore.

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