Who's Who of Top Executives

Robert “Bob” Lee Hildebrand

Title: Officer (Retired)
Company: R.R. Donnelley
Location: Glen Ellyn, Illinois, United States

Robert “Bob” Lee Hildebrand, retired officer at R.R. Donnelley, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in printing.

With 40 years of experience to his credit, Mr. Hildebrand excelled as officer at R.R. Donnelley from 1968 to 1992, at which time he retired from the position. He garnered a stellar reputation with the General Electric Company from 1955 to 1970. Prior to these appointments, he was a professional athlete in the National Basketball Association, playing for the Denver Bankers in 1952. Before embarking on his professional path, he pursued an education at Wesleyan University where he earned an associate degree in 1952.

Mr. Hildebrand completed his college education on an athletic scholarship. After starting a family, he left his athletic career and accepted General Electric Company’s invitation to join 29 others in a three-year astute management program that provided training in all the businesses the company was engaged in, including light bulbs, generators, and televisions. More than a decade later, he was recruited to R.R. Donnelley as an officer and spent 20 years helping the company expand its footprint across the globe.

In light of his impressive undertakings, Mr. Hildebrand has accrued several accolades throughout his career. He was selected for inclusion in multiple editions of Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. He received All-State and All-Star Awards in Basketball in 1948, 1951, and 1952. He attributes his success to having an excellent education, a Christian upbringing, and a thoughtful mind that kept him away from trouble. He also never lost his sense of humility and direction, no matter how many times he was promoted to more significant roles.

Mr. Hildebrand draws much gratification from helping R.R. Donnelley become an internationally formidable printing company by establishing many locations not only in America but also in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. Most of the plants flourished well and remained union-free, to which he credits the company’s success. He was responsible for selecting the facilities’ employees, who were all extremely well-paid. He considers his three-year management training at General Electric Company to be more than the equivalent of a graduate degree in business with many of his educators being professionals from Harvard University and other prestigious institutions.

Mr. Hildebrand was married for more than 70 years. His wife, who held a doctorate, passed away in early 2022. Her family lineage in the American North can be traced back to the Civil War. He considers his marriage to be the best, most important part of his life, as it enabled him to bear and navigate all the difficulties he encountered throughout his journey. 

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