Howard Irwin Friedman
1928 - 2021
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April 21, 1928 - January 19, 2021 Howard I. Friedman - Prominent Attorney and Longtime Jewish Leader 1928-2021Howard Irwin Friedman, former Chairman of the Board of the Skirball Cultural Center, past national President of the American Jewish Committee and retired partner of Loeb & Loeb, died in Encino, California on January 19, 2021 from complications due to Covid-19. Born on April 21, 1928 in Chicago, Ill, and raised in Oklahoma City, OK., Howard met the love of his life, the former Wilma Mann of Tulsa. Howard received a BA, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Oklahoma, MA from the University of Chicago, and LLB from the Yale Law School, where he was a Note Editor of the Law Journal. At the end of the Korean War, he served as a Captain in the US Air Force/JAG Corps. He then moved to California to teach at Stanford Law School. Howard spent his career at Loeb & Loeb, where he was the managing partner and head of the litigation department, as well as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. All his life, Howard was a tireless Jewish leader. He learned Jewish values from his parents Sam and Emma, who founded The Southwest Jewish Chronicle, 1932-1991, which circulated and united the small Jewish communities of the Southwest.Serving as the national President of the American Jewish Committee from 1985-1988, he was also an Emeritus Governor of the Board of Overseers of the Hebrew Union College. In 1996, he was one of the founders of the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, and served as Chairman of the Board from 1996-2014.Howard was a fierce advocate for what he believed was right: in 1948, while a student at OU, he led on-campus protests in support of Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, a Black student denied admission to the law school on the basis of her race; in 1992, he joined the ACLU to appeal for a stay of execution for a convicted killer who suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome.Howard is survived by his wife of 69 years, Wilma Mann Friedman, daughters Lesley Friedman Bodzy (Gerald), Beth Cates (Ron), son Harry Friedman (Melanie Stern), grandchildren Sam Cates, Elana Cates, Joshua Friedman, Nathan Friedman, Marc Bodzy, Rachel Bodzy, and sister Sandra Czarlinsky. He will be missed by many nieces, nephews, friends and colleagues. Burial, private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in honor of Howard to the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049.

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Published in Los Angeles Times from Jan. 22 to Jan. 24, 2021.
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11 entries
January 28, 2021
I remember Howard from my first days at Loeb and Loeb. He believed in integrity, honesty, hard work and common sense. All those traits he exhibited consistently. Brilliant, engaging, tough but fair, he treated all as his equals. He will be missed.
Borthwick Maribeth
January 25, 2021
I had the privilege of working with Howard many years ago and it was the highlight of my career. He was so smart, so kind, so respectful of me as a young woman lawyer. I will never forget him!
Mary Lou Byrne
January 24, 2021
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Sincerely, Bob and Diane Dilla
January 24, 2021
My law firm and I were clients of Howard’s decades ago. I will never forget the motion he made to overturn an adverse ruling. The motion was to the same judge who had decided the case against us so I didn’t bother to attend. The judge stated that Howard was criticizing every aspect of his lengthy ruling. Howard replied “yes your honor but I’m doing it with love and affection.” Howard won the motion and the case. I read the transcript and realized what an amazing lawyer I had. I will always regret missing that hearing.

Please accept my deepest sympathies.
Thomas Long
January 24, 2021
Please except my deepest sympathies, May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
Simone Taylor
January 23, 2021
I will miss my beloved friend enormously. We have been close friends for over fifty years. At his urging, Felice and I moved to New York to enable me to become Chief Executive of the American Jewish Committee. Felice and I spent many happy hours with Howard and Wilma. We send our love and sympathy to Wilma and all the family.
David Gordis
January 23, 2021
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Margaret & Glenn
January 23, 2021
I am so sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. I am very much moved by his life story - his life and values touched so many people. He was a true visionary. Margaret & Glenn
Margaret Yee
January 22, 2021
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time. Marcia and Hans Oberdorfer
Marcia Oberdorfer
January 22, 2021
In loving memories of a wonderful and giving man... you will be missed Mr. B... but forever in my heart ❤
Diane Hight
January 22, 2021
Life Lessons - Anonymous
You may have thought I didn’t see,
Or that I hadn’t heard,
Life lessons that you taught to me,
But I got every word.
Perhaps you thought I missed it all,
And that we’d grow apart,
But Dad, I picked up everything,
It’s written on my heart.
Without you, Dad, I wouldn’t be
The woman I am today;
You built a strong foundation
No one can take away.
I’ve grown up with your values,
And I’m very glad I did;
So here’s to you, dear father,
From your forever grateful kid.
Beth Cates
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