Friends Remembered: Steven Alan Tarnoff

Steven Alan Tarnoff

Steven Alan Tarnoff, 73, died on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023, in Morristown, Tennessee.

Tarnoff received the Carnegie Medal in 1981 after saving a man from burning after a plane crashed in Spokane, Washington. All others aboard the aircraft were killed in the crash. When Tarnoff crawled out of the wreckage, he saw another man who was still alive but could not get out. Unable to walk, Tarnoff crawled back to the aircraft and reached the man near increasing flames. With difficulty, due to his injuries and being greatly outweighed, Tarnoff dragged the 37-year-old man to a safe distance from the wreckage shortly before it was entirely engulfed by the flames.

Tarnoff graduated with three degrees at Villanova University: education science, history, and military science. At commencement, he was awarded the Distinguished Naval Graduate Award, one of only 20 awarded that year throughout the United States.

After a brief opportunity to follow his true passion as a history teacher for junior high and high schools, he was called to serve his country, fighting in Vietnam. He spent three tours as a naval weapons officer aboard the John Paul Jones, as well as inland at Quang Tri, Vietnam. His final year in the Navy was spent in JAG training.

Upon being honorably discharged, Steve was hired by Hoechst Pharmaceutical where he remained for 21 years, working in a variety of positions but most notably as governmental affairs manager. After retiring from Hoescht, Steve and his three best friends used their combined expertise to found The Franklin Group, where they spent 11 more years doing regulatory law consulting for a multitude of other pharmaceutical companies. In his combined years in the pharmaceutical industry, Tarnoff was responsible for bringing many life-saving medications to market by gaining FDA approval.

Tarnoff was blessed to have met his soulmate and love of his life in the summer of 2019, Robin Reinhart, and later married in February 2022. Tarnoff is survived by his wife; and his three stepsons, Zach, Connor and Jonas.