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Robert J. Bolger (1922 – October 8, 2007) was an American businessman. He was the founder and president of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, and he oversaw the transition of the drug store industry from regional to national chains.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Robert J. Bolger was born in 1922 and raised in Philadelphia. He graduated from Villanova University with a B.S. degree in Economics. He was a Navy fighter pilot during World War II and served on the Boxer and Independence aircraft carriers flying missions in F4U Corsairs.[1] Robert J. Bolger is routinely credited as the man that brought the Pharmaceutical industry into the modern era.[2] He was the first President and CEO of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores from 1962 to 1987. Subsequently, he served as a member of the NACDS Honorary Board. He has served on the Board of Directors for Barr Pharmaceuticals from 1988 to 2002.[3][4] In addition, he is one of the authors of the book Chain Drug Store Management and Operations.

Time at NACDS[edit | edit source]

Robert J. Bolger was the first president of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and helped create the prestigious Annual Meeting, called by most industry sources the best meeting of top-to-top minds in the industry.[5] Along with many founding drugstore chain executives, he helped to build the architecture of NACDS and the entire drugstore chain industry. The roots of NACDS date back to the Thirties, when several drugstore owners met at the Vanderbilt Hotel in New York. That eventually led to a more formal association galvanized by Bolger and located in Virginia - close enough to be a power on Capitol Hill.[5]

Robert J. Bolger helped to forge both the philosophical identity and physical home of NACDS. He understood, and sought to address the needs of a diverse membership in an evolving business and public policy environment. He led the initiative to secure the land and construct NACDS’ current headquarters offices in Alexandria, Virginia.[4]

During his time at NACDS, he expanded the government affairs activities.[2] Robert J. Bolger pushed this because he understood the importance of legislative and government affairs in the industry.[2] Because of his understanding of the importance of government relations the pharmaceutical industry the Pharmaceutical lobby became what it is today.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Obituaries", The Washington Post, October 16, 2007, pp. B07.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Retail pharmacy industry loses two longtime contributors", Drug Store News, November 12, 2007.
  3. BRL Proxy Statement (definitive) (DEF 14A) PROPOSAL 1. Barr Pharmaceuticals (1995).
  4. 4.0 4.1 "On the Passing of Robert J. Bolger, former President and CEO of NACDS". National Association of Chain Drug Stores. October 9, 2007. http://www.nacds.org/wmspage.cfm?parm1=5537. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Brookman, Faye. "NACDS founder Robert Bolger dies at 85.", WWD, October 12, 2007.

External links[edit | edit source]

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