Robert Mosbacher ’47, ’84H Dies at 82

Bob Mosbacher, left, and his brother, Bus, were featured on this 1959 Sports Illustrated cover for their sailing accomplishments.

Robert A. Mosbacher, a member of W&L’s undergraduate class of 1947 and law class of 1949, who served as secretary of commerce for President George H. W. Bush and as general chairman of Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign, died Sunday in Houston. He was 82 and had suffered from pancreatic cancer, according to the various news reports. A business administration major who entered W&L from Choate School, Bob Mosbacher built one of the largest private energy companies in the country, Mosbacher Energy Co., and eventually became known as a legendary political fundraiser. The University awarded him an honorary doctor of laws degreein 1984. According to the Washington Post’s obituary, he was one of the Bush Administration’s leading proponents of free trade with Mexico and instrumental in negotiations on NAFTA. Former President George H.W. Bush said: “Bob Mosbacher was an honorable and a first-rate businessman, and perhaps the shrewdest dealmaker I ever knew. But more than that, Bob was a true Point of Light, someone who generously helped so many different causes — but never seeking the limelight.” In addition to his success in business and his work in politics, he was a world-class sailer who won the U.S. men’s sailing championship in 1958 and world championships in 1969 and 1971. For details on his life and death, see these obituaries:

1 Response to “Robert Mosbacher ’47, ’84H Dies at 82”


  1. 1 David Church January 26, 2010 at 9:00 am

    The obituary from the Houston Chronicle is especially good. Thank you for alerting the W&L community.


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