Alfred Friendly (AC 1933) Papers
Alfred Friendly, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and longtime managing editor of the Washington Post, was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, the son of Edward Rosenbaum and Harriet Friendly. Friendly graduated from Amherst College in 1933 with high honors in German. Shortly after graduation, Willard Thorp, one of Friendly's former economics professors, helped him to secure a position at the U. S. Department of Commerce in Washington. Friendly later worked for Thorp in New York City on the reorganization of Associated Gas & Electric. From 1935 to 1936, Friendly and his friend Chalmers M. Roberts traveled around the United States; this experience, which the two men chronicled in an account entitled "The Trek: or, Adventures in Depression America," reportedly had a profound impact on Friendly.
Friendly worked for the Washington Daily News, the precursor to the Washington Post, which he joined as a reporter in 1939. During World War II he served in the Army Air Corps, Military Intelligence Service, earning the rank of Major. After the war he worked for a year in Paris as press chief for W. Averell Harriman. He became managing editor of The Washington Post in 1955 and helped to transform the newspaper into a national publication of great renown during a crucial formative period in its history. Friendly retired as managing editor in 1965 and moved to London to become a roving correspondent for the Post. In this capacity Friendly won a Pulitzer Prize in journalism for coverage of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. Friendly retired from journalism in 1971 but continued to write columns on many occasions.
Friendly served as an Amherst College trustee from 1961 to 1967. His diverse personal interests included archaeology, mathematics, naval history and atomic energy. His interest in archaeology prompted him to take a house in Turkey in 1971. Alfred Friendly was the author of several books, including "The Guys on the Ground" (1944); "Crime and Publicity: the Impact of News on the Administration of Justice" (with Ronald L. Goldfarb, 1967); "Israel's Oriental Immigrants and Druzes" (1972); "Beaufort of the Admiralty: the Life of Sir Francis Beaufort, 1774-1857" (1977); and "The Dreadful Day: the Battle of Manzikert, 1071" (1981).
Friendly was married with five children. Suffering from terminal throat and lung cancer near the end of his life, Friendly committed suicide in his Georgetown apartment on November 7, 1983 at the age of 71.