Robert T. "Bob" Francoeur, PhD, ACS, was one of the most important sexologists of our time. A fellow of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, he was professor emeritus of human sexuality at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, New Jersey, where he taught from 1971 to 1998 in the Biology and Allied Health Sciences department. In 2003, Francoeur joined the National Advisory Council for implementation of the former US Surgeon General David Satcher's Call to Action to Promote Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior 2001. He was also adjunct professor in the doctoral program in human sexuality at New York University and professor in the New York University "Sexuality in Two Cultures" program in Copenhagen, Denmark. Francoeur was honored with numerous accolades throughout his career, including the Sunoco Science Seminarist award (National Science Teachers Association, 1974), the annual award by the Educational Foundation For Human Sexuality (1978), Fairleigh Dickinson's Distinguished Faculty Award for Research and Scholarship (1992), the Public Service Award (The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, 1999), and the Golden Brick Award (Center for Family Life Education, 2007). In 2008 he was awarded the Magnus Hirschfeld Medal by the German Society for Social-Scientific Sexuality Research (DGSS) in the category of sexual reform. He served on the editorial advisory board for both the American Journal of Sexuality Education and the Journal of Sex Research. Francoeur was a teacher who believed the unfettered inquiry and sharing of knowledge related to human sexuality. With that knowledge came the potential for full individual development.
Francouer died on Oct. 15, 2012, from complications of Parkinson's. He is survived by his wife, Anna (Kotlarchyk) of Rockaway; his daughters, Nicole Francoeur of Sparta, New Jersey, and Danielle and son-in-law, Joseph Murray of Newark, Delaware. He also leaves behind two young grandchildren, Aeryn Noelle and Nicholas Brisco Murray. In addition, he is also survived by his brother, George Russell Francoeur of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
An ordained Catholic priest, Francouer received permission to marry Anna in 1967 without being laicized. Francoeur received a BA in philosophy and English at Sacred Heart College in 1953; an MA in Catholic theology at Saint Vincent College in 1957, and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio, in 1958; an MS in biology at the University of Detroit in 1961; a PhD in experimental embryology at the University of Delaware in 1967, and the ACS (American College of Sexologists) certification in sexology at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS) in 1979. Francoeur's main work was to synthesize and integrate the findings of primary sexological researchers. He was the author of 22 books; a contributor to 78 textbooks, handbooks, and encyclopedias; the author of 58 technical papers on various aspects of sexuality, and editor-in-chief of The Complete Dictionary of Sexology (1991, 1995). He considered his last work, the award-winning Continuum Complete International Encyclopedia of Sexuality (2004), which he edited with Ray Noonan, to be his legacy that would live on. Its crowning achievement was that the entire book was made available to students and scholars worldwide for free and open access at the website of The Kinsey Institute for research in sex, gender, and reproduction.
He is also credited with helping to introduce and popularize the controversial French philosopher and Jesuit priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, to American audiences. He wrote the forward to the first English translation of Teilhard's writing, The Appearance of Man, in 1965. He founded The American Teilhard de Chardin Association in 1964, and served as its first president.
Francoeur was a great friend, colleague, and supporter of the Program in Human Sexuality.
"Tout ce qui monte, converge" - Pierre Teihard de Chardin "The future is what we decide to make it. We are all co-creators of the world to be." - Robert T. Francoeur.
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