Bob’s last scientific paper, published shortly before his 88th birthday, was titled like his many others in a language that relatively few can appreciate: “Azimuthally polarized hollow beams in free space: Exact vector solutions to Maxwell’s equations.”
Bob attended public schools growing up in Detroit, was class valedictorian at Princeton, and then a Rhodes scholar before landing a job at Hughes Aircraft Co. and a simultaneous postdoc at nearby Caltech. There he met the celebrated physicist Richard Feynman *42, who became a friend and mentor and was best man at Bob’s second wedding in 1985.
Bob died Jan. 20, 2021, of complications of COVID-19 in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 90.
He is survived by his wife, Theresia de Vroom; their son, William; three children from his first marriage, Ben, Margaret, and Tom; and grandchildren Sutter, Camryn, Grace, and Evan. His classmates see that our valedictorian lived up to his promise. All good wishes to his family.