October 9, 1924
John Friedlich grew up in Highland Park, son of Herbert Friedlich and Margaret Becker Friedlich, a daughter of A.G. Becker. After prep school, he enlisted in the Navy in 1943 and served three years on a destroyer. He graduated from Harvard College in 1959 and joined Becker in 1961 after a two year training program at First Chicago. He first worked in the corporate finance division and was put in charge of the commercial paper business in early 1958. He promptly hired Lew Glucksman to head the NY office commercial paper department. John was elected a Vice President in 1958, a director in December, 1961. The commercial paper business rebounded significantly under the leadership of John and Lew to the point that it was contributing an important share of the firm’s profits. John and Lew came to believe they were undercompensated, and were approached, among others, by Robert Lehman inviting them to join Lehman Brothers, and bring with them the Becker commercial paper business. The balance of this story is in the Chronicle. In due course, John Friedlich’s role in Lehman was very much overshadowed by Lew Glucksman and it is not clear whether, when, and how John left Lehman. However that took place, John remained in the Chicago area and died in Highland Park in 1998.
Chicago Tribune, March 22, 1998, John Friedlich, died March 22, 1998, at the age of 73. He was survived by his widow, June; a daughter and a son; five grandchildren; and a sister.