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Robert Francoeur (October 18, 1931 – October 15, 2012)

Bob Francouer died this morning. Bob was trained as a philosopher, a biologist, and embryologist, and a Roman Catholic priest, and he brought all of that knowledge and passion for understanding the world around him to the field of sexology for more than forty years.

He authored twenty-two books (from The Scent of Eros: Mysteries of Odor in Human Sexuality to Utopian Motherhood: New Trends in Human Reproduction). He co-authored and edited many more, and perhaps most notably was the general editor of the International Encyclopedia of Sexuality.

I met Bob a few times in person at conferences but my only extended interaction with him had more to do with his experiences as a priest than as a sexologist. In 2000 I was doing research for a television documentary on celibacy in the priesthood and Bob was kind enough to talk with me for over an hour on the phone and then participate in the program in an interview we conducted at his home. Bob had been married in 1967 and his openness to discussing issues of sexuality in the culture of the Roman Catholic priesthood really made the program. My memory of him was as a warm, generous, and unassuming man who loved the forever unravelling mystery of human sexual experience.

I know that more detailed and personal remembrances will be forthcoming and I’ll link to them as they appear. For now if you want to read more you can check out the Wikipedia page on Bob or better yet, honor his memory by learning something about sexuality today in the International Encyclopedia, which is available for free online at the link above.

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