Douglas E. Friedman

Class: 1960Inducted: 2021

Douglas E. Friedman, a member of the Asbury Park High School Class of 1960, attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (A.B.1964). While at UNC, he served as a statistician for legendary coach Dean Smith’s first three basketball teams there. In 1967, he received his Juris Doctor degree from the Villanova University School of Law. He joined the Law Department at Amerada Hess Corporation (now, Hess Corporation) in 1969 and eventually became a Corporate Vice President and General Counsel to Hess’s Refining and Marketing Operation, itself a multi-billion-dollar enterprise. He was counsel to Hess Corporation for over 30 years.

Friedman retired from Hess in 2002 to devote more time to his lifelong interest in music. Since then, he has written or co-authored five books on music history, including a biography of the Comedian Harmonists, an extremely popular German singing group in the 1930s that was forced by the Nazis to disband because three of the six members were Jewish. The Chair of the Jewish Studies Department at Williams College (where Friedman was also a guest lecturer) called it: “A superb book that brings to light a story that is of great interest. Douglas Friedman’s book is an important contribution to our historical understanding of the diverse contributions of German Jews to German culture during the 1930s and the impact of Nazi anti-Semitism on German society and culture in general.” Terry Stewart, President of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, said: "Douglas Friedman’s book . . . is a very welcome addition to the literature on music history.”

Friedman’s biography of the great American singing group, the Mills Brothers, was short-listed (final four) for the award given by the Association for Recorded Sound Collections for outstanding research in the area of popular music and won the award for Best Discography of 2017 – an "Oscar"in this field. John H. Mills, II, son, grandson and nephew of the original Mills Brothers members, said: “A caring and determined writing - enriched through gifts of stories and insight, enhanced with details . . . I wiped tears and laughed aloud. Read this book - with your heart." Noted music historian Dr. Charles Horner said: "Douglas Friedman’s book on the Mills Brothers is a vital contribution to the study of American music." Friedman’s latest book – "The Nazis' War on Music: Another Side of the Holocaust" – explores the impact of the Nazis’ destructive programs to erase all traces of Jewish life and culture from German society.

For the last decade, Friedman has served on the Board of Directors of the Center for Holocaust, Human Rights & Genocide Education (, a nonprofit organization dedicated to education about the Holocaust, genocide and human rights, and elimination of racism, anti-Semitism and all forms of prejudice. Over the years, he has also served on the Boards of several other nonprofits, including the Monmouth County Arts Council, the Art Alliance of Monmouth County and the United in Group Harmony Association. One hundred percent of the profits from his books are donated to CHHANGE.

In 2010, Friedman served as the Chairperson for his 50th APHS Class Reunion. He and his wife Linda (also an attorney) have been together for almost 40 years. He has a stepdaughter, two grandchildren, as well as three nieces and three grandnieces and a grandnephew.

One of his favorite quotes is - "Live your life as you want to be remembered."