Bob Wright (Utah politician)

  (Redirected from William Robert Wright)

William Robert Wright (May 20, 1935 – January 13, 2012) was an American attorney, political candidate, and author.

Bob Wright
Chair of the Utah Republican Party
In office
Personal details
William Robert Wright

May 20, 1935
Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
DiedJanuary 13, 2012 (aged 76)
Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Children8, including Thomas Wright
Alma materUniversity of Utah (BS, JD)

Early life and educationEdit

Wright was born in Salt Lake City, Utah to Ralph Bassett Wright and Afton Middlemiss Wright. He graduated from East High School in 1953, and then served in the Swiss Austrian Mission of the LDS Church from 1955 to 1958. Returning home to the University of Utah, he was elected student body vice president and received a Bachelor of Science in Geology in 1960, and a J.D. in 1963.


Wright worked at the firm Jones, Waldo, Holbrook & McDonough in Salt Lake City for 29 years.. He later become a partner at Arent Fox in Washington, D.C., and then at Bryan Cave in Salt Lake City.[1]

From 1977 to 1979, Wright was Chairman of the Utah Republican Party. He ran unsuccessfully as the GOP's candidate for Utah governor in the 1980 gubernatorial election against Scott M. Matheson.[2] He was considered for President Ronald Reagan's judicial nomination to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.[1]

From 1989 to 1992, Wright served in the LDS Church as president of the Washington D.C. North Mission. There, he met Gregory Prince, a pathology researcher, and they began a ten-year collaboration to produce a biography of David O. McKay.[3] The book drew from the Middlemiss papers and interviews conducted by Wright and Prince, and was published in 2005 as David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism, winning multiple awards.[4][5]

After retiring from full time legal work, Wright practiced law independently in Salt Lake City and Washington, D.C. He also served as chairman of the University of Utah's Institutional Council and as chairman of the Utah State School Board. Wright was also a lecturer and Fellow of the S.J. Quinney College of Law and held leadership positions with the Utah State Bar.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

Wright married Janet Clark in the Salt Lake Temple in 1965. They lived in Salt Lake City and had one daughter and seven sons, including Thomas Wright, a real estate broker and one-time Chairman of the Utah Republican Party.[1]

Wright died on January 13, 2012 after a 20-year struggle with Alzheimer's disease.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d "Obituary: WRIGHT, WILLIAM". Deseret News. Retrieved 2014-08-30.
  2. ^ a b Bob Wright, former Utah GOP leader, dies The Salt Lake Tribune, January 13, 2012
  3. ^ Prince & Wright 2005, p. xi
  4. ^ "David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism". University Press Catalog. J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah. Retrieved 2015-04-24.
  5. ^ Allen, James B. (2006). "David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism". BYU Studies. 45 (1): 172. Archived from the original on 2015-07-22. Retrieved 2015-04-24.