Richardson, trade news writer

February 08, 1993

Robert L. Richardson, a Baltimore bureau chief of Fairchild Publications who wrote columns for the old Baltimore News-Post, died Friday at Baltimore County General Hospital of complications after gastrointestinal surgery and a long bout with cancer. He was 86.

Mr. Richardson was born on Feb. 21, 1906, on a train traveling from Harrisburg, Pa., to Baltimore where his family was relocating.

His wife, Ruby Richardson, said he was fond of telling the story that his survival as a newborn was tenuous, but once the doctor on the train delivered him and got him to scream, he has been screaming ever since.

Mr. Richardson's work for the News-Post included a cafe society column written under the pseudonym "Bob Calvert" during the 1940s and early 1950s. Another column was on men's fashions and lifestyles titled, "For Women Only."

For several decades, he was the Baltimore bureau chief for Fairchild Publications, a New York publisher of internationally circulated business newspapers and magazines.

In 1958, he was the first employee of Fairchild Publications to win both the Fairchild News Reporting and the Fairchild Idea Reporting awards for enterprise and feature writing that appeared in Women's Wear Daily, a garment-trade newspaper.

Mr. Richardson's news award was given for the enterprise and early reporting of the May Department Stores-Hecht Co. merger. His feature award was presented for a follow-up series on the merger.

He enlisted for two tours of duty in the Army -- the first in Hawaii, where he was discharged in order to accept an athletic scholarship at the University of Hawaii, where he played basketball, ran track, and was a member of the swim team.

After graduating, he was a meteorologist on a sugar plantation in Hawaii.

He served the second tour during World War II in the Army's special services division and was involved in war bonds drives and in recruiting for the Women's Army Corps.

When he returned to the mainland, he worked in the entertainment field under the stage name of "Bob Bruce," and sang on radio's old "Blue Network." He worked with Bing Crosby and Norm Clothier and his "Merry Madcaps." He also emceed entertainment shows in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and in Baltimore nightclubs.

Mr. Richardson organized Baltimore's first I Am An American Day parade, and was executive director of the Highlandtown Merchant's Association. He was an avid golfer and stayed active until late last year when his health problems worsened.

Service are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Loring Byers Funeral Home, 8728 Liberty Road.

Mr. Richardson is survived by his wife of 36 years, the former Ruby M. Reed; a daughter, Cheryl D. Richardson of Baltimore; and a grandson, Jonathan R. Hanna of Darlington.

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