78, surrounded by family, passed away on November 15th, 2020, at Cedars-Sinai, West Hollywood, California.

Jim was born September 4th, 1942, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Norton and Julia Lieberman. He is survived by his wife, Keren Hamburger Lieberman, his sister Jane Rubin Gerstein (Robert Gerstein) his stepson David L.M. McIntyre (Sarah McKinley Oakes) and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews from coast to coast.

He was an academic all-star (national merit scholar), and upon graduating from the University of Minnesota, joined RCA’s technology group, consulting for NASA, as one of the pioneering programmers for the early Apollo missions.  His subsequent work there carried him around the world, as he helped lead teams on sea-going mobile tracking stations that would guide and track spacecraft with particular focus on re-entry.  These missions suited Jim, because he loved to travel, to discover new parts of the world.  But along with this instinct to explore, Jim maintained a fierce devotion to his native Minnesota.  Throughout his life, he (and later on, he and Keren) would return at regular intervals to Minneapolis, where he maintained close ties to family, family history, and childhood friends.

Jim’s ocean voyages with NASA landed him more than once in the Hawaiian Islands, a destination he decided to make his home for the next phase of his career, where he managed the computer/telescope interface at the Haleakala Solar and Lunar Observatory (University of Hawaii) on the island of Maui.  It was there, in 1979, that he met Keren Hamburger. 

He moved to Los Angeles where he married Keren in 1991, and devoted his technical expertise and experience to developing and managing the computer/servo-mechanical interface technologies for missile defense systems at TRW (to become Northrup Grumman), and he continued his work there as a senior engineer and systems guru until 2019.  He and Keren created a beautiful home in Los Angeles, where family and friends spent many afternoons and evenings discussing food, cinema, television, and politics, and frolicking in their Roman Villa style lap-pool.  James always had a unique, principled take on the issues at hand.

He is missed by the many family members and friends he loved.

Published on November 22, 2020