ROBERT K., Goldsmith Award in investigative journalism founder, passed peacefully at 12:30 P.M. on December 29, 2012 in Sarasota, FL. Greenfield had a stellar second career as a philanthropist, founding the Goldsmith Award in investigative journalism in partnership with Harvard University, and the Greenfield Prize to recognize and commission works of art with the Hermitage Artist Retreat. Greenfield, age 97, had been a prominent Philadelphia attorney for nearly 50 years. After his retirement to Sarasota in 1988 he founded the Greenfield Foundation. He personally developed the abovementioned initiatives, the latter when he was 93 years old. He continued to take an active interest in philanthropy, political events, and most of all, the welfare of his many progeny, virtually until the week before his death.
Greenfield was born on March 30, 1915. He was the second of five children born to William and Bertha Greenfield. He was gifted with a keen intellect and a life-long ability to focus and pursue goals which often would seem unachievable. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Swarthmore College in 1936. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1939. He joined and ultimately headed a prominent Philadelphia law firm, Folz, Bard, Kamsler, Goodis and Greenfield (Later Goodis, Greenfield, Henry & Edelstein). His last ten years in practice he was of counsel with Montgomery, McCracken, Walker and Rhodes.
Greenfield served on boards of trustees of a wide variety of organizations over the years in both Philadelphia and Sarasota. He was chair of the Pennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine, and later worked behind the scenes, in his retirement, to assure that the College would return to Temple University, from whence it had emerged. Today Temple's School of Podiatric Medicine has an enrollment greater than the combined total of all of the other podiatric schools in the country.
Greenfield also served as Chair/President of the Philadelphia Theatre Company, Moss Rehabilitation Hospital, Alexis Rosenberg Foundation, the American Jewish Committee/Philadelphia Chapter and Jewish Community Relations Council. He was an officer of the Philadelphia Fellowship Commission and Institute of Contemporary Art. He served on the boards of Philadelphia Visitors and Convention Bureau. In his "retirement" in Sarasota, he served on the board of the Asolo Theatre, and as president of The Landings Homeowners Association, as well as founding and leading the Greenfield Foundation for 20 years.
Greenfield celebrated his 75th wedding anniversary in Sarasota last June with his wife, Louise, and all of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in attendance. His wife, who survives him, said simply "He was my best friend". He will be missed by her, his children, Linda Baldwin, Mary Davenport, Bill Greenfield, and Jim Greenfield, as well as his 14 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren.
A celebration of Robert Greenfield's life will convene at The Landings Racquet Club, Sarasota, FL on Saturday, Jan. 5, from 3 to 5 P.M. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Robert Greenfield be made in to the Hermitage Artist Retreat, Sarasota. Guestbook:
Published on Philly.com on Jan. 3, 2013