Memorial Tribute for Bob Bolen, Former Mayor of Fort Worth, Texasby Representative Kay Granger
Posted on 2014-01-09
in the house of representatives
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Ms. GRANGER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Bob Bolen, the
beloved former mayor of Fort Worth, Texas. Mayor Bolen passed away in
the early morning hours of January 6th, 2014 at the age of 87 at his
home in Fort Worth.
Robert Eugene Bolen was born on April 10, 1926 to Milford and Bee Bolen in Chicago, Illinois. While he and his family moved more than a dozen times during his youth, Texas is where he would ultimately call home.
Bob Bolen gravitated to public service at a young age. He chose Texas A&M University in College Station for his undergraduate degree in the 1940s. However, he soon left College Station to serve in the U.S. Navy as a gunnery officer on the USS Iowa during the waning days of combat in the Pacific Ocean during World War II. Following his military service, he returned to College Station where he graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 1948.
Upon graduation from Texas A&M University, he began his career as a management trainee with McCrory's, a chain of five and dime stores. While his career led him to locations like Syracuse, New York, he would later be transferred to McCrory's Fort Worth store and he never moved again.
Bob Bolen was first elected to public office in 1979 as the District 6 representative on the Fort Worth City Council. After just one term on the city council, he ran in the special election for mayor. He won and served until 1991, cementing his legacy as the longest serving mayor in Fort Worth history.
He was a dedicated public servant throughout his time as the mayor of the ``Panther City". Bob Bolen's efforts were carefully watched by other cities. What the city is today is a direct result of much of the work he accomplished while leading the city as mayor.
During his tenure, Bob Bolen's Fort Worth experienced a rebirth and revitalization of the downtown area. Companies like Burlington Northern expanded and public-private partnerships helped to cultivate the growing community. Alliance airport was developed within the city limits and Fort Worth became home to the only printing location outside of Washington, DC for the Federal Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The Bureau continues to print money there today.
He was a renowned leader and in the process he helped so many people. He had a particular affection for helping young people as well. He would go out of his way to encourage them and steer them either toward public service or toward appreciating it.
Bob Bolen left an indelible mark on the city of Fort Worth and the transformation that he oversaw helped create the distinguished city that it is today.
Bob Bolen loved Fort Worth and Fort Worth loves Bob Bolen. He gave the city far more than it was ever able to give him and that's a legacy worth remembering.