Richard D. (Dick) Klafter, one of the early leaders in the field of robotics and automation and the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, was born on 5 August 1936 and died 11 November 2019. He received an undergraduate degree at MIT, two graduate degrees from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the City University of New York (1969). A devoted educator, he had a long teaching career at Drexel University and later Temple University where he served as Director of Graduate Studies in the College of Engineer. In addition, he co-authored one of the early robotics textbooks, Robotic Engineering: An Integrated Approach (1989).
In 1986, Klafter was elevated to IEEE Fellow for his contributions to robotics education and graduate training in electrical and computer engineering. He was a founding member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Council which later became the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and served as President of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, 1994-1995. During his term as President, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine began publication in 1994.