Submission Date: December 18, 2017
Attributing Author: Maureen Wittels

I’m writing this so other families will hopefully know what we didn’t.

Harris Lee Wittels died on February 19, 2015 of a heroin overdose alone in his Los Angeles home. He was 30 years young.

He was my son. He was the world’s comedian. My son grew up in an affluent, white suburban neighborhood. He was a “nice Jewish boy.” His dad is a physician and I am a retired teacher. My son would never, ever take that drug called heroin! These kinds of kids don’t do such a thing! I am sharing this story because I want other families to hopefully know what we did not know.

Harris accomplished more in his 30 years than most can accomplish in a lifetime. At his Bar Mitzvah speech, the Rabbi stood up and said to watch out for this kid. He would be at the Laff Stop one day. At just 18, he won third place in Houston’s funniest comedian contest at the Laff Stop! He attended the Houston High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and graduated from Emerson College with a degree in TV/ Video production.

At 22, he was discovered by Sarah Silverman in a club, doing standup. She asked for him to submit some of his writing to her for her upcoming TV series on Comedy Central. The rest is history. He climbed the ladder of success quickly.

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