Sexology Loses a Trailblazer


Robert T. (Bob) Francoeur, Ph.D., A.C.S., of Rockaway, NJ, died early Monday morning, October 15, 2012 while in hospice care with the Visiting Nurse Service of Northern New Jersey, at the Merry Heart Senior Care of Boonton Township. Cause of death was complications of Parkinson’s.
On October 17th he was laid to rest in the natural burial section at Maryrest Cemetery in Mahwah, NJ.  Father  Joseph Farias of St. Thomas More Church, Convent Station, NJ, officiated at the grave site before a gathering of family and close friends.
Dr. Francoeur was born on October 18, 1931, in Detroit, Michigan, to George Antoine Francoeur and Julia Russell. He is survived by his wife, Anna (Kotlarchyk) of Rockaway, NJ, his daughters Nicole Francoeur of Sparta, NJ, 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, Robert received permission to marry Anna in 1967 without  being  laicized.

Dr. Francoeur  received a B.A. in philosophy and English at Sacred Heart College in 1953; an M.A. 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 M.S. in biology at the University of Detroit in 1961; a Ph.D. in experimental embryology at the University of Delaware in 1967; and the A.C.S. (American College of Sexologists) certification in sexology at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS) in 1979.
Dr. Francoeur’s main work was to synthesize and integrate the findings of primary sexological researchers. He was the author of 22 books, contributor to 78 textbooks, handbooks, and encyclopedias, 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.
A Fellow of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, he was Professor Emeritus of human sexuality at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, NJ, where he taught from 1971 to 1998 in the Biology and Allied Health Sciences department.  In 2003, Dr. Francoeur joined the National Advisory Council for implementation of the former U.S. 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.
Dr. 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, 2008). In 2008 is 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.
Dr. Francoeur was a teacher who believed the unfettered inquiry and decimation of knowledge related to human sexuality. With that knowledge came the potential for full individual  development. Contributions can be made in Robert’s memory to the charity or non-profit of your choice.
“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