Former Fort Worth Mayor Bob Bolen Dies

Monday, Jan 6, 2014  |  Updated 6:07 PM CDT
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Former Fort Worth Mayor Bob Bolen Dies

NBC 5

Robert "Bob" Bolen, former Mayor of Fort Worth, in 2012.

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Former Fort Worth Mayor Robert "Bob" Bolen died at his home in Fort Worth Monday morning.

Bolen, who was Mayor from 1982 to 1991, most recently worked as a senior advisor to the chancellor at Texas Christian University's Neeley School of Business.

Born in Chicago in 1926, Bolen lived in Fort Worth and Shreveport before entering Texas A&M University and graduating with a degree in business administration. He also received honorary doctorate degrees from Texas Wesleyan University, University of North Texas and TCU.

Bolen served in the U.S. Navy as a gunnery officer on the U.S.S. Iowa during World War II and was discharged in 1946.

Bolen managed a chain of variety stores until starting his own toy store, "Bolen's Toy Palace," in 1952. That store lead to a bike shop -- converted from a old shoe store -- and eventually a greeting card shop that spawned 20 locations in Fort Worth and elsewhere in Texas.

He shared his business acumen by teaching night courses at TCU and by being part of dozens of public-private partnerships.

As a city councilman and mayor, Bolen was heavily involved in both the creation of Alliance Airport and bringing the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing facility to the city's north side.

In 2010, a gift from The Sarah & Ross Perot Jr. Foundation lead to the creation of the Bob Bolen Leadership Scholarship program at TCU.   The scholarship, which is open to sophomores and juniors, seeks applicants who exhibit leadership and a commitment to community service.  Applicants who are current or former military, or the dependents of current or former military, or are Eagle Scouts or Gold Award winners, are encouraged to apply.

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