At Brookings (S.D.) High School he participated in debating, publications, and football. At Princeton he majored in history, joined Charter Club, and was on the varsity debate panel at Whig-Clio.
He enjoyed a 36-year career with Cargill Inc., with an emphasis on grain-export trade and markets. He represented the corporation in public and government affairs, advocating policies before Congress and the executive branch.
After retiring from Cargill in 1990, he joined World Perspectives Inc., an agricultural trade consulting firm, where he continued to educate both clients and government officials for another 30 years.
His major in history gave him a perspective on the cyclicality of agricultural commodity markets, explicated in a series of articles called “Common Thread” in which he detailed the commonality of the present with past market events.
His 1958 marriage to Carin Wyckoff ended by divorce in 1984. He married Julianne Mann in 1990.
During his later years, he split time between Fairfax Station, Va., and Southport, N.C., enjoyed time with his extended family and his dog Winnie, and pursued his passion for fly-fishing on trips out West.
Bob was preceded in death by his stepson, Stuart Mann. He is survived by his wife, Julianne; sons Robert Jr., Stephen, and Carter; stepsons David and Stephen Mann; sister Ruth Bassett; five grandchildren; and four stepgrandchildren.