Robert Wayne Hobson

Robert Wayne Hobson
World Trade Center

Unlimited Energy


Robert Wayne Hobson ‹ universally known as Wayne ‹ talked a lot, dreamed big and was so lighthearted about everything that his wife, Cindy, made him propose three times just to make sure he was serious. "He called me a hundred times during the day, always with some new idea or big plan for the future," Mrs. Hobson said.

Five years ago, Mr. Hobson, 36, left a job as a broker at the World Trade Center to fulfill one of his dreams ‹ he opened Hobson's Bar and Grill in Hoboken, N.J. It soon became the place for his friends to get together after the stock market closed for the day, said Mrs. Hobson, who told her husband a more appropriate name for the bar was "Wayne's World."

In 1999, Mr. Hobson returned to the trade center as a broker for Cantor Fitzgerald, but he kept the bar. "He loved to be around people," Mrs. Hobson said. "He had unlimited amounts of energy."

She said that when she went out golfing with her husband, he, not the game, was the draw. "It was the only time I had five hours straight of his undivided attention."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 22, 2001.


Robert W. Hobson III, 36, pub owner



When he opened Hobson's Choice, an English-style pub in Hoboken in May 1996, broker Robert Wayne Hobson III figured he had found the perfect way to meld his love of people with his expertise in finance.

Every day at 6:30 a.m., he would park his car outside his Hudson Street establishment, hop on the PATH train and arrive at his Cantor Fitzgerald Securities offices by 7 a.m.

Viewing the scene from his offices on the 105th floor of One World Trade Center, he had the world in his pocket. He would look north to the Traveler's Insurance Building, where his wife, Cindy, worked in the investment banking offices of Salomon Smith Barney. He would pretend to wave at her. He would turn west and nod toward Hoboken, where his mother, Judith, would soon start going through the books in the bar they owned together.

By 5:10 p.m., he'd be back in New Jersey, striding through the doorway of the bar, named both as a play on his surname and for an English expression meant to convey a choice that's not really a choice at all. It played off his unique sense of humor.

"He would always make me laugh," his mother said. "When he was little, I used to tell him, 'Wayne, without you my life would be so dull.' "

Ebullient, wise-cracking and driven, Mr. Hobson, 36, was happiest, his wife said, using his unlimited energy to work two full-time jobs. He was killed in the attack on the World Trade Center complex Sept. 11.

Born in Ft. Bragg, N.C., where his father, Robert Wayne Hobson II, worked as an Army surgeon, Hobson moved with his family to various military locations before settling in New Providence.

After graduating from Oratory Preparatory School in Summit, he attended Franklin Pierce College in New Hampshire and Temple University in Philadelphia.

He met his wife, Cindy, in a car crowded with mutual friends. For both, it was love at first sight. "He had an amazing, outgoing personality," said Cindy Hobson of Jersey City. "He was so handsome -- he looked just like Ryan O'Neal."

Mr. Hobson was a military buff, insisting during a trip to Hawaii that the couple visit some of its historical sites. They spent two full days in Pearl Harbor. "He read every soldier's name on every plaque," she said. He owned well-worn videotapes and DVDs of the World War II movies "Midway" and "Tora! Tora! Tora!"

Aside from his wife and mother, Mr. Hobson is survived by his father, a professor of surgery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and his father's wife, Joan of Boonton; his sisters, Lisa Preston of Basking Ridge and Laura Decoster of Gainesville, Va.; a brother, Matthew of Hoboken; and his maternal grandmother, Irene Ruskai of Woodbridge.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Our Lady of Peace Roman Catholic Church in New Providence. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the American Red Cross.

Profile by Kitta MacPherson published in THE STAR-LEDGER.




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