Robert was born on June 14, 1929 and is a first generation American. Both of his parents emigrated to the USA with their families just prior to WWI. He received his BA in Anthropology in 1951 and completed his MA in October 1952, before entering the Air Force later that month. One summer he helped on the dig at Danger Cave.
Robert had been commissioned in 1950 after two years in the first Air Force ROTC program after President Truman established a separate air force in the fall of 1947. A week after he was sworn in as a Lt., the Korean war started. Through a set of unplanned circumstances, he remained on active duty until he retired as a Colonel on July 1, 1976. He then served as the Vice-Commander of the Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. Among other events in the Air Force, he was attending Purdue in a program designed to train a group as "human factor engineers". Because he already had a master's degree, he was sent on a PhD slot and received a degree in Experimental Psychology in January 1964.
After moving to Oregon upon retiring from the Air Force, he was hired by the Oregon Department of Human Resources and worked for 14 years helping to manage programs for senior and disabled individuals, retiring in June 1993. Robert subsequently participated in various non-profit groups, including helping to establish a charter middle school and serving on its board for 7 years.