Robert Folsom

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Robert Folsom
52nd Mayor of Dallas
In office
Preceded byAdlene Harrison
Succeeded byJack Evans
Personal details
Born(1927-02-15)February 15, 1927
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
DiedJanuary 24, 2017(2017-01-24) (aged 89)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Spouse(s)Margaret Folsom (deceased)
ResidenceDallas, Texas
Alma materSouthern Methodist University
Professionreal estate developer

Robert "Bob" Folsom (February 15, 1927 – January 24, 2017) was mayor of Dallas from 1976 until 1981.[1][2][3] His power base was in Dallas' business establishment.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Robert Folsom grew up in the Oak Cliff district of Dallas, he attended Sunset High School where he was a standout athlete and student.[1] After high school, Folsom attended The United States Military Academy in West Point, NY where he played football and basketball for the Cadets. During his time at the Academy, Folsom played in two "Games of the Century" 1945 vs. Navy and 1946 vs. Notre Dame. President Truman attended the game against Navy. Playing against Michigan in Yankee Stadium in 1945, Folsom caught a touchdown pass. During his time at Army, Folsom was a part of two national championship teams. After two years at West Point, Folsom transferred back to his hometown University, Southern Methodist University, he would go on to be the only four sport letter winner in the history of the school (Football, Basketball, Track and Baseball).[5] He is also one of the only college football players to have played alongside three Heisman Trophy Winners (Glenn Davis, Doc Blanchard, and Doak Walker), as well against two others, (Johnny Lujack and Leon Hart)

Folsom along with fellow 1949 SMU Captains Doak Walker (37) and Dick Mckissack (38)

Business career[edit]

Folsom is a "legendary investor and developer....who built a fortune as a master of real estate[.]"[6] He chairs the board of directors of real estate development firm Folsom Properties, Inc.[3] Since the early 1980s he has served on the boards of directors of BeautiControl Cosmetics, Inc. and Alcatel USA, Inc. (formerly DSC Communications Corporation); he also serves on the board of the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.[3] He was also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dallas Independent School District and Chairman of the Board of Methodist Hospital of Dallas, he received the Hugh Prather Award for his real estate leadership and the Oak Cliff Lions Club Humanitarian Award for Service to his community.

Tenure as mayor[edit]

Folsom was elected mayor of Dallas in April 1976, in a special election held to replace Wes Wise, who had resigned in order to run for Congress,[1] he served as mayor until 1981. During his time, he headed up several successful projects including: the tollway, Reunion Arena, and the Dallas Arts District [7]


Folsom died on January 24, 2017, at his home in Dallas.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Simnacher, Joe (January 25, 2017). "Former Dallas Mayor Bob Folsom, who helped bring Reunion Arena, NBA, new DMA to city, dies at 89". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2017-01-27.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c "Robert Folsom: Executive Profile & Biography". Bloomberg Businessweek. June 21, 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  4. ^ Cullum, Lee (October 1984). "The Power Players: Who holds the cards now?". D Magazine. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Bush, Rudolph (26 November 2010). "Old lease could force Dallas to pay big for tiny part of convention hotel site". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Robert Folsom Mayoral Papers". Retrieved 2015-05-28.