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Obituary: Edwin A. Fleishman

Dr. Edwin A. Fleishman, of Silver Spring, MD, passed away on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at the age of 93. He is survived by his wife, Pauline Fleishman (nee Utman); sons, Jeffrey B. Fleishman and Alan R. (Tina) Fleishman; brother, Dr. Robert P. (Janet) Fleishman; and grandchildren, Sera Jane and Ariana Fleishman. He was predeceased by his parents, Sera and Harry Fleishman.

Dr. Edwin A. Fleishman was an American psychologist best known internationally for his work in the field of industrial and organizational psychology. He was born in New York City and grew up in Baltimore. A graduate of Baltimore City College High School in 1943, he completed his bachelor’s degree at Loyola College in just 2 years in a special course because of World War II at age 18. After a year serving in the United States Navy, he received his master’s degree in psychology at the University of Maryland and his PhD doctorate in 1951 from Ohio State University. He then took a position with the United States Air Force in San Antonio, Texas where he participated in the design of the cockpit in the first capsule of the Project Mercury Program. He also developed a program to increase the efficiency of motor skills for air force pilots.

Beginning In 1957, he was a professor at Yale University in the Department of Psychology and founded the Human Skills Research Laboratory there. He published a book titled, Psychology and Human Performance, which helped delineate which exercises were most effective in achieving physical fitness. Dr. Fleishman was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship which allowed him to spend a year in Israel as a visiting professor at the Technion University. He also was invited to be a guest lecturer in England, China, and many other countries. In 1960, he was one of eight invited psychologists to visit the Soviet Union to learn about psychological developments in that country. He arrived just a few weeks after the United States U-2 reconnaissance aircraft was shot down over Russia. He was taken to see the U-2 close up, which he described as "a mind-boggling experience." He became a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at George Mason University in 1986 where he founded the Center for Behavioral and Cognitive Studies.

In addition to several textbooks, Dr. Fleishman was author of more than 250 journal articles and research reports. But above all, he was a wonderful husband, father, brother, grandfather, friend. A man of character. A man who loved deeply and was loved deeply in return.

Contributions in his memory may be sent to Central Scholarship Bureau, Sera & Harry Fleishman Scholarship Fund, 6 Park Center Court, Suite 211, Owings Mills, MD 21117.


Published by The Baltimore Sun from Feb. 19 to Feb. 20, 2021.

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