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This is Robert


Robert met his wife, Sally, ballroom dancing.  Sally was a Broadway performer who had appeared with Richard Burton in Camelot, had a role in Phantom of the Opera and had two or three roles in Cats.  In addition to ballroom dancing, Robert is a model railroad enthusiast and has an extensive railroad set up in his home.  He described himself as a high-end audio enthusiast and repeated it several times for emphasis.  He loves listening to music and thoroughly enjoys high-quality sound.

Robert and Sally lived on the Upper West Side for many years but now live in Woodland Park, NJ.  He still sees himself as a New Yorker, mentioning that all his doctors are at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and that he enjoys coming into Manhattan as often as he can both for his medical and emotional wellbeing.  He loves Manhattan but also loves retreating to his home in New Jersey.

Robert was sitting in front of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, having a cup of coffee when I sat down next to him.  He was easy to engage and happy to talk to me.  He is 78, born in the Heights section of Jersey City, New Jersey and grew up there.  He attended St. Paul of the Cross grammar school and St. Michaels High School in Union City, New Jersey. He is a graduate of Rutgers School of Pharmacy.  In 1963, his first job was with Hoffman LaRoche, working on what was a new drug at the time, Valium.  He said that while working for Hoffman LaRoche, there were some people that didn't like him, including his boss.  He said several times that politically he didn't get along with people, but didn't say why.  After a few years of working on prescription drugs, he moved into a new area, Validation, that involved the use of computers.  Apparently, this was a process that involved complicated computing that most people at that time were unable to do, and Robert became very important to Hoffman LaRoche.  So, even though he did not get along with people at the company, they needed him.  He continued to work for Hoffman LaRoche, working on drugs such as Prevnar, until they eventually downsized.  By that time, he felt ready to retire.  He has now been retired for 14 years.

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