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Franklyn Haiman was professor, scholar, and activist for free speech

School of Communication emeritus professor Franklyn Haiman (GC46, GC48) died March 10 at age 93 in Oakland, California. Haiman was the John Evans Emeritus Professor of Communication Studies.

Haiman was born on June 23, 1921, and raised in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve University). He then entered the U.S. Army Air Force in 1942, serving as a clerk for two years at an airbase in England.

Using the G.I. Bill, Haiman enrolled in Northwestern University in 1945, earning a master’s and PhD from the (then-named) School of Speech. He joined the faculty in 1948, earning tenure in 1956. He was promoted to full professor in 1961, and served as chair of the Communications Department from 1964 until 1975. Haiman retired in 1991, though he continued to participate in campus activities long afterward.

The author of Speech and Law in a Free Society and “Speech Acts” and the First Amendment, Haiman was an expert on the First Amendment as well as an advocate for free speech. He was highly involved at the local and national levels of the American Civil Liberties Union, among other academic and political organizations.

Haiman leaves a legacy, said Garry Mathiason (C68), who studied with Haiman as an undergraduate. “Franklyn Haiman was a legend when I took his courses, including one on Freedom of Speech,” Mathiason said. “Although Professor Haiman was not a lawyer, he made the First Amendment come to life while providing an inspirational journey through the court decisions that have defined free speech. He was the catalyst for my decision to go to law school and the 44 years of practicing law that has followed. While we honor his memory, he will live on through the countless students whose lives he helped shape.”

Haiman is survived by his wife, Louise Haiman (GC48), and two sons.