Fred Blumlein grew up in Greenvale, NY and attended Roslyn High School. In 1965, he graduated from Pratt Institute’s Industrial Design Department where he participated in Pratt’s four-year Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program.
Upon graduation from Pratt, Blumlein was commissioned as a U.S. Army Signal Corps Officer. Once in the army, he was ordered to Viet Nam in 1966 where he became the 53rd Signal Battalion’s Photography Unit Commander. Blumlein’s photo team operated out of a base camp at Long Bien’s II Field Force Headquarters. At this location, his unit processed and printed photos taken by his men and photographers from other units, including the 173rd Airborne Brigade. In addition, his unit was equipped with unique mobile photoprocessing labs, enabling his photographers to not only photograph military operations in the field, but also to process and print their photos almost simultaneously.
After his discharge from the military, Blumlein returned home and established a freelance design business. In 1976 he joined the faculty at Pratt Institute where he taught exhibition design, design research and drawing, and also served as a graduate student thesis advisor. He retired from Pratt as a full professor in 2012.
In 1983, he established Blumlein Associates, Inc. (baidesign.com), a design firm that specializes in exhibition, graphic and interior design. Its list of clients include AT&T, Bell Laboratories, Newsday, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, the National Park Service, the Nassau County Museum and multiple historical societies and libraries on Long Island. Blumlein retired from his firm in 2010, but the company continues its work under his name.
Currently, Blumlein is the Quartermaster of Port Washington’s VFW Post 1819 and a trustee and past president of the Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society. He is a former chair of Port Washington Public Library’s Art Advisory Council.
Fred and his wife Pat, née Stutz, of Glen Cove have been married for 54 years and have two children, Karen Rodis of Sharon, VT and Susan Amodeo of Albany, NY. Pat and Fred have been blessed with five grandchildren: Emily Amodeo and Ben, Leda, Maria and Sophia Rodis.
—Submitted by Deborah Tedeschi