State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Obituary of Robert Sidney Friedman


Robert (Bob) Sidney Friedman passed away at home on Tuesday, February 25, 2020. He was born March 1, 1927 in Baltimore Maryland, the only child of the late Harry and Eva (Cohen) Friedman.

Bob had a wonderful life. He traveled the world, had a fulfilling career as an academic, and loved and was loved by his family, friends, and his dog Lulu.

He had a life-long passion for baseball. Having grown up in Baltimore, he rooted for the Orioles for most of his life. In his later years, he embraced his new home town team, the Nationals.

He was predeceased by his first wife Renee (Cohen) Friedman on October 4, 2002. Surviving him are his wife Learita Garfield Scott, his daughter Helene and her husband James Stoak of Duncannon, PA, his son David and his wife Carolyn Friedman of Arlington, VA, and his two grandchildren Jacqueline and Matthew. He is also survived by Learita's children Jay Garfield and his wife Blaine Garson of Amherst, MA, David and his wife Jung Hwa Garfield of Honolulu, HI, Sally and her husband Roger Rafson of Pittsburgh, PA, Carrie and her husband Paul Banks of Brooklyn, NY, Nina Garfield of Takoma Park, MD, and Galen and his wife Sarah Scott of Silver Spring, MD, her 15 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren.

Bob graduated from Forest Park High School in Baltimore, MD in 1943. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from The Johns Hopkins University in 1948. His undergraduate studies were interrupted for 18 months while he served in the United States Army. He obtained his Masters and PhD in Political Science from the University of Illinois in Champagne Urbana, IL finishing in 1953.

He taught Political Science at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD, from 1953 to 1956, at The Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA, from 1956 to 1961, and at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, from 1961 to 1968 with a 9 month stint in 1957 to 1958 at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. In 1968 he assumed the Political Science Department Chairmanship at The Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA, a position which he held for 10 years. He continued as a Full Professor there until his retirement in December 1994.

In addition to teaching, he served as a consultant. In the 1970s, he investigated the organizational structure of the Drug Advisory Panels at the Food and Drug Administration. From 1981 to 1989, he served on an Advisory Panel for the cleanup of Three Mile Island (TMI). The panel studied the interaction between the company that ran the facility and the community. In the 1990s, he collaborated with his wife Renee on a project which examined Research Organizations in Public Universities in states that did not receive substantial research monies from the Federal Government.

Bob lived a long and fulfilling life. This is a time to celebrate all that he was.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Renee C. Friedman and Robert S. Friedman Endowment Fund at the Pattee Library, 1 Old Main, University Park, PA 16802, or to the Robert S. Friedman Award for Excellence in Teaching, The Pennsylvania State University, 13 Sparks Building, University Park, PA 16802 or Temple Micah, 2829 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007.

Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at

Name of Deceased

Robert Sidney Friedman

Date of Death


Date of Birth


Funeral Home

Koch Funeral Home

order food online