Bruce was born in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. He was the youngest of five in a University of Chicago faculty family. For his senior year in high school, he earned a scholarship to John Burroughs School in St. Louis, where he was guided to Princeton on another scholarship.
At Princeton, Bruce majored in chemistry and earned freshman numerals in soccer and baseball and varsity letters in baseball. He was chairman of the Intramural Athletic Association and head of Commons his senior year.
During World War II, Bruce served in the Marines special services (radar advancement) for four years. He then earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Chicago to pursue a successful career in corporate research.
In 1981, President Reagan appointed him to be assistant secretary of commerce/technology. He proceeded to spearhead two acts of cooperative research that had far-reaching benefits from 1981 to 1988. He then was an adjunct MBA business professor, first at Wharton, then Georgetown, from 1988 to 2008.
A loyal Princetonian, Bruce was class agent, active in five different (city) Princeton clubs, chairman of the national Alumni Council from 1969 to 1970, head of the 40th reunion, and class secretary from 2004 to Jan. 1, 2017.
He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Paula; three sons, Bruce Jr. ’72, Robert ’75, and Marshall ’82; daughter-in-law Ginny ’84; and seven grandchildren.