A Family Funeral Home

Peter C. Fishburn

September 2, 1936 - June 10, 2021
Racine, WI

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Class of 1954 Fund, Centre Foundation
1377 Ridge Master Drive
State College, PA 16803

Life Story / Obituary


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Peter Clingerman Fishburn died June 10, 2021 in Racine, Wisconsin. He was born September 2, 1936, in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania to the late Rebecca Clingerman and Hummel Fishburn. He married Janet Forsythe in Ligonier, Pennsylvania in 1958. He is survived by his wife, and daughters Susan Fishburn and husband, Steve DeLuca, Katherine Fishburn and husband, Daniel Miller, Sally Fishburn and wife, Susannah Morlock and grandsons Justin Miller, Eric Miller and wife, Danielle Tollefson and their children, Johanna, Bjorn and TollefMiller.

A 1954 graduate of State College High School, Peter was a 1958 Penn State graduate in Industrial Engineering and was awarded the Ph.D. in Operations Research in 1962 by the Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland. He worked for Research Analysis Corporation in McLean, Virginia (1962-1970), was a research professor at Penn State (1971-1978), and ended his career as a mathematical researcher at Bell Labs in Murray Hill and Florham Park, New Jersey from 1978 to 200 I when he retired. He was a Fulbright Professor at the Technical University in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1966 and a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, 1970-1971.

A prolific writer, Dr. Fishburn published nine books and over five hundred journal articles, many with co-authors. His books included Decision and Value Theory (1964) which is still in print, The Theory of Social Choice (1973) and Nonlinear Preference and Utility Theory (1988). He was recognized by colleagues in his several fields of operations research, decision theory, social choice theory, voting theory and mathematical economics as the recipient of the John Von Neumann Theory Prize and the Frank P. Ramsey Medal of the Operations Research Society of America After he retired his co-authors compiled a Festschrift in his honor.

A member of the Penn State Blue Band, Peter continued to play cornet throughout his life. For over thirty years, he and his wife sang in New Jersey church choirs. He was an enthusiastic birder and enjoyed yard work during his retirement years in New Jersey and Wisconsin. His life will be celebrated by his family at a time to be determined.

Contributions in his memory can be made to the Class of 1954 Fund, Centre Foundation, 1377 Ridge Master Drive, State College, PA 16803. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at https://meredithfuneralhome.com.