Robert E. Freer

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Robert Elliott Freer (January 30, 1896 – January 6, 1963)[1] was an Ohio attorney who served as chair of the Federal Trade Commission from January 1, 1939, to December 31, 1939, again from January 1, 1944, to December 31, 1944, and a third time from January 1, 1948, to December 31, 1948.[2]

Education, military service, and career[edit]

Born in Madisonville, Cincinnati, Ohio, Freer received an LL.B. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1917,[3] and entered the practice of law in Cincinnati that same year.[4] He served in the United States Army during World War II in the 324th Infantry Regiment, and was deployed to France.[5]

In 1925, he became an attorney with the Bureau of Valuation within the Interstate Commerce Commission. He received an LL.M. from the Washington College of Law in 1929.[4] In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Freer as a Republican member of the FTC.[1] Freer was reappointed to the FTC by President Harry S. Truman in 1948, but resigned later that year to return to the practice of law.[1]

In 1960, Freer returned to government service as a hearing examiner for the Federal Power Commission[1]

Professional affiliations[edit]

Personal life and death[edit]

Freer married three times, first – on October 28, 1919, in Newport, Kentucky – to Hazel Louise Davis (maiden; 1898–1975). He then married – on 11 Apr 1925, in Marion County, Ohio – Olive Roberts (maiden; 1898–1973). Freer then married – on September 7, 1939, in McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania – Alice Elizabeth Barry (maiden; 1905–1979), and adopted her two daughters and one son from her prior marriage to Harold Wadsworth Sullivan (1896–1969), former Assistant Attorney General for Massachusetts.[7] Together, he and Alice had a son. Alice's father, Edward P. Barry, had been Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts.[5] with whom he had two sons and two daughters.[1] Alice, in 1933, earned a law degree from the Portia Law School in Boston.[8]

Freer died of multiple myeloma at the age of 66,[1] and was interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

Political offices
Preceded by Chairmen of the Federal Trade Commission
Succeeded by




  • American Law School Review (The) (December 1928). "Notes and Personals". icon of an open green padlock. 6 (7): 385. Retrieved May 20, 2022 – via Google Books. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help) LCCN 2008-247516; OCLC 76883455 (all editions).