Ten years ago today, the nation said goodbye to Robert A. Mosbacher Sr., accomplished Texas oilman and leader in public service. Today, the Mosbacher Institute remembers and honors the life of our namesake by sharing this memorial video.
In 1948, at the age of twenty-one, Robert Mosbacher Sr. moved to Houston from his native New York to manage his father’s energy investments and build his own portfolio. He quickly built a highly successful oil and gas company with interests throughout the world.
Mosbacher has been hailed as one of the most effective political fundraisers in modern history, but it was his loyal friendship with, and devoted support of, President George H. W. Bush that would lead him to the national political stage.
“Without [Bob], it’s highly unlikely I would have ever been president of the United States. Bob was by my side from the very beginning, as we started a journey that would lead to the mountaintop of American politics.”– George H. W. Bush –
On February 3, 1989, Mosbacher was sworn in as the 28th Secretary of Commerce following his unanimous confirmation by the United States Senate. Secretary Mosbacher’s central accomplishments while at the helm of the Commerce Department from 1989 to early 1992 included helping to lay the foundation for major trade agreements and significantly closing America’s trade deficit with key trading partners such as Japan and South Korea. His role in strengthening relationships with our neighbors through commerce prompted Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo to present Mosbacher with the Aztec Eagle Award, the highest decoration offered by the Mexican government to noncitizens.
Upon the request of President George H. W. Bush, the Board of Regents of the Texas A&M University System approved the establishment of the Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy in the Bush School of Government and Public Service in September 2009. Named for President Bush’s long-time friend and colleague, the initiative recognized Mosbacher’s years of service and commitment to improving the nation’s domestic economy and trade relationships.
Since its establishment, the Mosbacher Institute has strived to continue the legacy of Robert A. Mosbacher Sr. by collaborating on domestic economic policy and international trade issues with nationally recognized scholars and experts and by fostering greater educational emphasis on trade, economics, and public policy among Bush School students. To learn more about the Mosbacher Institute and its programs, please visit our website at bush.tamu.edu/mosbacher.