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Robert A. Fuhrman

Robert A. Fuhrman


Robert A. Fuhrman was born on February 23, 1925 in Detroit, Michigan. During his long career with the Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, he rose to positions of trust and responsibility achieved by very few in the aerospace field.

He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1945 with a degree in aeronautical engineering and earned a master's degree from the University of Maryland in 1952. Fuhrman joined Lockheed in 1958 as technical staff head of Polaris systems development and advanced to chief engineer of the Missile Systems Division in 1964 and to vice president and assistant manager of the Missile Systems Division in 1966. He became president of the Lockheed-Georgia Company, builders of the C-5A, in 1970. In 1971, he was selected as president of Lockheed-California Company, home of the famous Skunk Works and builders of the L-1011 and the Navy P-3A Orion. Two years later he became executive vice president at LMSC.

In 1988 Fuhrman became vice chairman of the board and chief operating officer for the entire Lockheed Corporation. He became a senior advisor to Lockheed and also served as the chairman of the boards of directors of two wholly owned subsidiaries of Lockheed: Lockheed Canada Inc. and Lockheed Space Operations Company.

In addition to his work at Lockheed, he had also served on many government boards and panels, including the President's national Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee and the Defense Science Board. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering and is a senior member of the American Astronautical Society. In 1987 he was elected an honorary fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Fuhrman was enshrined on October 26, 1991 for his lifelong dedication to the advancement of the aerospace industry. He remained a senior advisor for Lockheed until his death on November 25, 2009 in Pebble Beach, California.

Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program