Bob Hermann

Robert Ringen Hermann, Sr. (January 3, 1923 – April 5, 2020) was an American businessman, soccer executive from St. Louis, Missouri.

Bob Hermann
Born(1923-01-03)January 3, 1923
DiedApril 5, 2020(2020-04-05) (aged 97)
NationalityAmerican
EducationPrinceton University
OccupationBusinessman
Spouse(s)Lilly Busch (died 1995)
RelativesAugust Anheuser "Gussie" Busch, Jr. (father-in-law)

Early lifeEdit

Robert Ringen Hermann, Sr. was born January 3, 1923 to parents Frederick A. and Evelyn Ringen Hermann. He was raised in Clayton, Missouri and educated at St. Louis Country Day School (later merged to form MICDS).[1] He graduated from Princeton University in 1944 with a degree in engineering, and was then commissioned as an ensign in the United States Navy, where he served as a flight deck officer on the USS Savo Island aircraft carrier during World War II.[2][3]

Hermann was promoted to lieutenant later in the war, and his unit was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation, an honor for "extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy...gallantry, determination, and esprit de corps," and several other battle stars.[4]

CareerEdit

Following his time in the Navy, Hermann began a business career with the formation of Standard Container Company, a sales firm that sold boxboard packaging to breweries.[5][6] The company later launched Anchor Packaging, a producer of cling-film and plastic food containers for takeout and delivery.[7] Anchor Packaging is now one of North America's largest polypropylene food packaging thermoformers, with facilities in St. Louis, Missouri; Paragould, Marmaduke, and Jonesboro, Arkansas; and Buenos Aires, Argentina.[8][9]

In later years, Hermann diversified his scope of business with the development of Hermann Marketing.[5] He served as head of the company until his son, Robert R. Hermann, Jr., took over as CEO. Prior to its sale to Corporate Express (Staples), Hermann Marketing 's customers included United Airlines, IBM, UPS, and Texaco.[10]

The family-operated Hermann Companies now focuses on private equity, and providing financial and investment services.[11]

Community involvementEdit

Hermann served on the board of numerous civic, cultural, and charitable organizations including the St. Louis Zoological Park, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis Public Library Foundation, Old Newsboys Day, BJC HealthCare, St. Louis Municipal Opera Theatre (Muny), Arts and Education Council, and St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.[4][12]

Hermann also established several events and nonprofits in the St. Louis region, including:

  • In 1981, he founded the Veiled Prophet (V.P.) Fair, now the Fair St. Louis, and aims to "unite the region in a joint effort to promote St. Louis to the country and the world."[13]
  • Hermann was a founding chairman of Operation Brightside, a not-for-profit organization which enhances public spaces in St. Louis through litter pickup, graffiti removal, and planting of community gardens.[14][15]
  • In collaboration with Peter H. Raven, former president of the Missouri Botanical Garden, and Whitney R. Harris, philanthropist, Hermann introduced the University of Missouri - St. Louis' International Center for Tropical Ecology, along with its corresponding World Ecology Award.[16] The Award honors individuals who have made outstanding efforts in global conservation and has been presented annually since 1990.[17]

In 1996, he was named “Man of the Year” by the St. Louis Variety Club and “Citizen of the Year” in 1999.[18][19] He also received the St. Louis Award, presented annually to honor “the resident of Metropolitan St. Louis who, during the preceding year, has contributed the most outstanding service for its development.”[4][20]

Soccer executiveEdit

In 1966, Hermann sought to bring soccer to the US by forming the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL). The NPSL played for the 1967 season before merging with the United Soccer Association to form the North American Soccer League (NASL). Hermann was nominated as chairman of the executive committee.[21]

Hermann was the founder and co-owner of the St. Louis Stars soccer team. The team played with the NPSL/NASL from 1968-1977. After 1977, the Stars moved to Anaheim, California and rebranded as the California Surf. Hermann continued as an owner until 1980.[21]

Hermann's largest soccer legacy is the Hermann Trophy, established in his honor by the NPSL/NASL and is awarded annually to the best male and female college soccer players in the US.[22] The soccer stadium of the St. Louis Billiken's soccer team, Robert R. Hermann Stadium (Hermann Stadium), was named after him.[23]

Hermann was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2001 for his "philanthropy efforts and impact of the game of soccer in America," and the St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame in 2012.[24][25]

Personal lifeEdit

Hermann was married twice, to the late Lilly Busch Hermann until her death in 1995, daughter of August Anheuser "Gussie" Busch, Jr., and the late Mary Lee Marshall Hermann. He had three children: Christy Busch Hermann (1946 – 1969), Carlota Hermann Holton (married to Richard C. Holton, Sr.) and Robert R. Hermann, Jr. (married to Signa Vernon Merrill).[26][27]

Hermann died April 5, 2020 at the age of 97 in Ladue, Missouri.[28]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Princeton in the News". Princeton. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
  2. ^ "Princeton, Tigers, Are Hermann's Game". Hospital Record. 18 (6): 1. June 1964.
  3. ^ Neman, Daniel (April 12, 2020). "'Mr. St. Louis' - businessman, philanthropist and soccer-team owner Bob Hermann dead at 97". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  4. ^ a b c Harbor Light News Staff (April 15, 2020). "Robert "Bob" Hermann". Harbor Light.
  5. ^ a b Hagerty, James R. (April 17, 2020). "Robert Hermann Bet Americans Would Learn to Love Soccer". The Wall Street Journal.
  6. ^ [1], "Heat sealing apparatus", issued 1974-01-11 
  7. ^ "Anchor Packaging". Anchor Packaging. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  8. ^ "History". Anchor Packaging. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  9. ^ "Facilities". Anchor Packaging. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  10. ^ Desloge, Rick (February 9, 1997). "Hermann finally takes bait, hooks up with Denver firm". St. Louis Business Journal.
  11. ^ "Hermann Companies". LinkedIn. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  12. ^ Watson, Lisa (January 24, 2013). "Dynamic People: Bob and Mary Lee Hermann". Ladue News.
  13. ^ "About". Fair Saint Louis. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  14. ^ Gravenhorst, Edna Campos (2008). Southwest Garden. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-6185-1.
  15. ^ "What We Do". Brightside St. Louis. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  16. ^ Seltzer, Jo (February 18, 2010). "UMSL's Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center Celebrates 20 Years of Conservation". St. Louis Public Radio.
  17. ^ "World Ecology Award". www.umsl.edu. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  18. ^ "Variety Remembers Bob "Mr. St. Louis" Hermann". Variety St. Louis. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  19. ^ "Hermann, Robert "Bob" 2012". St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  20. ^ "The St. Louis Award Statue, Pine". Forest Park Statues & Monuments. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  21. ^ a b "Bob Hermann 2001 Inductee". National Soccer Hall of Fame. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  22. ^ "History". MAC Hermann Trophy. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  23. ^ "Robert R. Hermann Stadium - Men's & Women's Soccer". Saint Louis University. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  24. ^ "'01 HOF Member Bob Hermann Passes Away | National Soccer Hall of Fame". National Soccer Hall of Fame. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  25. ^ "2012 Inductees". St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  26. ^ "Christy Busch Hermann (1946-1969) - Find A Grave..." www.findagrave.com. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  27. ^ "Signa Vernon Merrill Plans to Marry Robert Ringen Hermann Jr. in June". The New York Times. May 27, 1990. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  28. ^ "Robert Ringen "Bob" Hermann". Legacy. April 12, 2020.