Representative Robert L. Freeman (D-136th District, Northampton County) was born in Easton, PA on March 9, 1956 and is the son of late Joyce Styers Freeman and the late Jacob B. Freeman. He graduated from Easton Area High School in 1975. He received his bachelor's degree in history and political science from Moravian College, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1978. He earned a master's degree in history from Lehigh University in 1984. Representative Freeman was initially elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1982, and served six two-year terms before leaving as the result of an unsuccessful bid for the Pennsylvania Senate in 1994. From 1995-97, he served as the executive director of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and as Democratic executive director of the Senate Local Government Committee from 1997-98. He returned to the PA House of Representatives in 1998 and has since been re-elected ten times.
Representative Freeman is a former shop steward and member of the UFCW Union Local 1776. He is a recipient of the Easton Area High School Elton Stone Award and the Moravian College History Prize. He authored the article "Light Rail and the Lehigh Valley," which appeared in the New Valley Press in 1981. During his previous 12 years in the House, Freeman served as chair of the House Select Committee on Land Use and Growth Management (1991-92), which recommended ways to improve growth management and reduce sprawl. In recognition of his work on behalf of smart growth land-use policies, environmental protection, and historic preservation, Representative Freeman received 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania's "Public Official Smart Growth Visionary Award" for 2009 and Preservation Pennsylvania's "Leadership in State Government and State Issues Award"(2009 and 2012). Rep. Freeman is the Democratic chair of the House Local Government Committee. Representative Freeman resides in Easton with his wife, Terri Arshan Freeman, and has two stepchildren and two grandchildren.