Elected in 1976
“For contributions to the design and development of the Polaris and Poseidon underwater launch ballistic missile systems.”
BY SHERMAN N. MULLIN
SUBMITTED BY THE NAE HOME SECRETARY
ROBERT ALEXANDER FUHRMAN, retired vice chairman, president, and chief operating officer of Lockheed Corporation, died on November 21, 2009, in Pebble Beach, California. He was 84 years old.
Bob was born on February 23, 1925, in Detroit, Michigan, and was educated in the Detroit public school system. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942, which selected him to attend the University of Michigan. He received a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering in 1945. Bob never forgot what the Navy and Michigan did to enable his career. In his words, “I graduated in a sailor suit, was commissioned, and sent off to aviation officers school, where I learned how to analyze a jet engine, take it apart, and put it back together.” He was then assigned to the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland, as a flight test project engineer, an exciting assignment for a 21-year-old junior Navy officer. He cherished this experience for the rest of his life.
Discharged from the Navy in 1949, Bob became a civilian instructor at the Navy Test Pilots School and concurrently attended the University of Maryland, receiving a master of science degree in fluid mechanics in 1952.