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Robert Moulton, Former Associate Director, Passes Away

(Photo - Robert Moulton)Robert Harrison Moulton Jr., who died at home last month at the age of 89, was a rare individual, a man of action and of words. He was born in Los Angeles, California to R.H. and Florence Moulton on October 30, 1918. In 1936, Moulton graduated from Beverly Hills High School, where he was elected student body president. He attended Stanford University and in 1940 graduated Phi Beta Kappa, (summa cum laude) with a degree in economics. While at Stanford, Moulton was a champion debater.

After starting in business, Moulton suddenly changed his career due to the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. He served as a lieutenant in the Navy during World War II, as did his older brother Donald and his younger brother Frank. He finished his tour as an Intelligence Officer to an Admiral in the Atlantic fleet.

After the war, he returned to work in San Francisco at his father's business. There he met, courted and married Helen Elizabeth Bowman. Their wedding took place on December 31, 1946, at her parents' hometown in Shreveport, Louisiana. Moulton was based in the San Francisco office of RH Moulton & Company, a regional firm specializing in tax-free municipal bonds. The couple later settled on the Peninsula in Menlo Park.

The Moulton family moved east in 1952 when he went to work for the CIA as an administrator in Alexandria, Virginia. He later joined the newly-formed Ford Foundation in New York City, working as Assistant to the President. He and his family returned to Stanford University in 1958. Moulton put great effort into getting SLAC approved in the late 1950s and early 1960s; this effort is detailed in a memoir he published in the Stanford Historical Society's Journal, Sandstone and Tile. He served for 17 years as an Associate Director of the laboratory. Following his time at SLAC, Moulton served for eight years as the Executive Director of Mid-Peninsula Housing Coalition at a critical time after its inception. He retired after helping to form the organization whose mission is still today building affordable apartments for families and seniors.

Although born into a California family of successful businessmen, Moulton cared greatly for the lives of the less fortunate. He strongly believed that honesty, integrity and justice had to be practiced and not just preached. He was passionate about his family, politics, reading and his many friends. He enjoyed the ocean and growing tomatoes (the more, the better). He played bridge, dominoes and golf with a competitive spirit. He rooted for the Yankees and Stanford University sports teams.

Moulton is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Helen, as well as his children Mark, Robert, Katherine and Sarah; three grandchildren; and one great grandchild.

Mark Moulton, SLAC Today, May 12, 2008

Above image: Robert Moulton