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Herbert Friedman (June 21, 1916September 9, 2000) was an American pioneer in the application of sounding rockets to solar physics, aeronomy, and astronomy. He was also a statesman and public advocate for science. During his lifetime, he was awarded the Eddington Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, the National Medal of Science, the Henry Norris Russell Lectureship of the American Astronomical Society, the William Bowie Medal of the American Geophysical Union, and the Wolf Foundation Prize in Physics, among others. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciencesmarker in 1960 and of the American Philosophical Societymarker in 1964.

His service to science included membership on the General Advisory Committee to the Atomic Energy Commission during Lyndon Johnson’s presidency, on President Nixon’s Science Advisory Committee, and on the Space Science and Governing boards of the National Academy of Sciences.

Friedman was born June 21, 1916 in Brooklyn, New Yorkmarker (USA) the second of three children of Samuel and Rebecca Friedman.His father was an Orthodox Jew who moved to New York City from Evansville, Indianamarker, and eventually established a successful art framing shop on East Ninth Street in Manhattanmarker. Friedman’s mother was born in eastern Europe. Friedman grew up as an aspiring artist and earned pocket money as a young man from the sale of his sketches. He entered Brooklyn Collegemarker in 1932 as an art major, but ended up with a degree in physics. He was influenced by his first physics professor, Dr. Bernhard Kurrelmeyer, who eventually helped him get a scholarship to Johns Hopkins.

Friedman died of cancer at his home in Arlington, Virginiamarker, on 9 September 2000, at the age of eighty four.

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