Born in 1917 in Quincy, Illinois, Robert R. Dockson earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois in 1939. He earned his masters's degree from USC's School of International Relations in 1940. Dockson served four years in the U. S. Navy in the Pacific Theater during World War II before returning to USC to complete a doctorate in economics in 1946. He joined the faculty of Rutgers University from 1946 to 1947. Subsequently he served as the Economist for The Prudential Insurance Company and The Bank of America. In 1953 Dr. Dockson joined the USC business school faculty as a professor and chairman of the Marketing Department. In 1959 he became Dean of the then College of Commerce. Under his leadership the School experienced a major transformation with the establishment of the Graduate School of Business, a broadly revamped curricula, increased scholarships and professorships and the construction of the School's epicenter, Hoffman Hall. In 1969, Dr. Dockson began a second career by joining California Federal Savings and Loan, the nations's largest federal S&L at the time. He became CEO in 1973 and Chairman in 1984. Before retiring as Chairman in 1989, the company became public and grew from 18 to nearly 300 offices in the West and Southeast as well as experiencing asset growth from $1.7 billion to $27 billion. Dr. Dockson served on the Board of more than 30 corporations and charitable organizations. Among them were: The Foremost McKesson Corporation, Pacific Enterprises, Computer Sciences Corporation, International Lease Finance, International Technology, The Olga Company, Ticor, Bekins, the Rose Hills Memorial Parks Association, the Haynes Foundation, Town Hall of California, the Los Angeles and the California Chambers of Commerce and Orthopedic Hospital. He established the Dean's Chair in the USC Marshall School of Business and with his wife Katheryn, who passed on in 2007, they endowed a Chair in USC's School of International Retlations, and endowed scholarships for the Trojan Marching Band and the Football team. He was a life member of the Board of Regents of Pepperdine University. He is survived by his daughter Kimberlee Rollo and her husband Robert Rollo, as well as his four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held on December 7 at 2:30pm at the Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church, 505 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills. In lieu of flowers donations are encouraged to be sent to the USC Marshall School of Business, Master of Business for Veterans Program, External Relations Office, USC, 1150 S. Olive St., 29th floor, L.A., CA. 90015.
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Published in the Los Angeles Times on Dec. 4, 2013