Robert H. Wynn

Obituary
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Bob Wynn passed away unexpectedly before Christmas 2013 in Calabasas, CA. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Cecile. Bob was born in St Louis of mixed Irish and American Indian descent and never saw a fight he wasn't ready to join. After a hard scrabble start, Bob joined the rodeo at the age of 13 and was an accomplished horseman. With a Golden Gloves Championship under his belt and a tour in US Navy photo intelligence, he finally found his calling and a lifelong career in the entertainment industry. Bob produced all the Judy Garland Shows, the Danny Thomas Shows, the Bob Hope Shows, Sammy Davis, Jr. Specials, Real People and many other comedy and musical specials around the world, including the Tennessee Ernie Ford Country Music Special shot in the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War, and the Bob Hope Special in China during the Gang of Four period, which tested his diplomatic as well as production skills. Bob was also responsible for prime time Specials on Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan and a 1976 Special celebrating America's Bicentennial filmed on the USS Independence, in New York City Harbor. Mr. Wynn was determined to cast a wider net. "I always wanted to make a difference," he confided to a close friend. Which he did, every chance he got. It came to Bob's attention that the US government was taking away, as a cost cutting measure, disability payments from a certain Vietnam veteran. This severely wounded man was so filled with enemy shrapnel he had been unable to walk through the metal detector on his way to receive the Medal of Honor. Through Bob's intervention, the disability payments were reinstated. Bob was most proud of his role in convincing our military to allow him to introduce to the American audience on Real People a part of their history they had never known, that of the Navaho Code Talkers. Their very existence, so many years after WW II, was still labeled Top Secret until Bob asked for the record to be made public. Lesser known, but maybe more personally satisfying, was the pro bono charity work that Mr. Wynn quietly worked on for years. He brought in $50 million for the Variety Club Telethons in LA and St. Louis with the help of stars like Angie Dickenson, Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, Sammy Davis, Jr., Monty Hall and many other famous celebrities. At his home town of St. Louis, a Sammy Davis Memorial Children's Hospital stands as a monument to Bob's fundraising prowess. Among his accolades, Mr. Wynn was nominated for two Emmy Awards and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters bestowed upon him by Columbia University. The Bob Wynn Library in the University of Wyoming houses all Bob's work over the last 50 years, which he donated. Bob is survived by his wife, his children, Dana and Melody, his sisters Colleen, Carol and Diane, his four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. In his autobiography, "I used to Be Somebody," Bob wrote, "It was a privilege to serve my country ...." That's the way he saw it, and that's the way it was. Donations to Wounded Warrior Project.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 28, 2014
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