Rabbi Solomon B. Freehof, considered one of the world's foremost Reform Jewish leaders, died Tuesday at a hospital here. He was 97.
Freehof was elected president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism in 1959, the first American accorded that honor.
He also was president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and a member of the executive board of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. He was honored in 1979 by the National Conference of Christians and Jews.
A native of London, Freehof came to the United States in 1911. He was an honors graduate of Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, where he later taught, and served as a Jewish chaplain for American soldiers in Europe during World War I.
Freehof's first congregation was at the Kehillath Anshe Mayriv Temple in Chicago, which he left in 1934 to come to Pittsburgh. He served as rabbi at the Rodef Shalom Temple in the city's Shadyside neighborhood until his retirement in 1966.
Freehof is survived by his wife, Lillian, the author of more than 20 books of Jewish legend and children's stories.