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Biographical Memoirs, Volume 88
named Chief Scientist Emeritus of the Hulburt Center. The Friedman Room at NRL remains as a memory of his career and stature as a scientist.
Friedman was born in Brooklyn on June 21, 1916, the second of three children of Samuel and Rebecca Friedman. His father ran a successful art-framing store on Ninth Street in Manhattan. An Orthodox Jew who closed his business on Saturday, Samuel Friedman was born in Evansville, Indiana, in 1877 and moved to New York City as a young man. Rebecca was born in Eastern Europe. Herbert grew up as an aspiring artist and developed sufficient skill as a young man to earn pocket money from the sale of his sketches. He entered Brooklyn College in 1932 as an art major but finished with a degree in physics.
Gertrude Friedman recalls no special interest in science in the Friedman family. The family environment was focused on the humanities, especially art and music. In an autobiographical note, as an example of an interest in science, Friedman mentions only having traveled to upper Manhattan in 1925 when he was nine years old to observe a total eclipse of the sun, although he did admit an interest in mathematics. No one else in the Friedman family developed any special skills as an artist, even though Samuel Friedman developed close associations with artists as part of his business. So it was something special about Friedman, developed at an early age, that led him to focus his energy so successfully, first on art, then on science.
After completing his undergraduate education, Friedman had no thought of continuing his studies, but it was still the depression and jobs were scarce. The best he might expect was teaching in a secondary school, but such positions were highly competitive. He did manage to find work as a commercial artist for five dollars a week. With such dim prospects he decided to go on to graduate school. His