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Yale 62

Robert Lewis Jackson
September 18, 1940 – February 11, 2023

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Bob prepared for Yale at Edison High School in Tulsa. At Yale he was on the Dean’s List and a ranking scholar, majoring in Philosophy. He served on the JE council and played on their football, basketball, tennis, and crew teams. He roomed with Al Greenwood. After earning an LLB at the Yale Law School, his LLM was gained at the New York University Law School, where he also taught tax law. He clerked for Judge William Fay of the U.S. Tax Court, and practiced tax law in St. Louis for over 50 years. During most of that time and until his death he also operated a cattle ranch in Oklahoma on land he inherited from the Jackson family.

He wrote a wonderful essay in the 50th Reunion Classbook. After a year of teaching, he “decided he was not interested in academia. […] In my early 30s my brother began talking to me about a family trust… [and after no cooperation from an uncle] ”we filed lawsuit against the trust… and eight years later I received an 11,000 acre ranch just west of Tulsa.” He goes on to describe struggles of learning how to ranch, deal with cheating managers (being a lawyer helped) and [how he] ended up running a profitable cattle and beef business. His last two paragraphs are very moving and appropriate for all of us to know. “If I had it to do over again, I would consider a college smaller than Yale and one with more agreeable weather… I found the atmosphere at Yale College to be impersonal and intimidating. While I made friends, I never felt I fit in. Of course, the educational opportunities were unparalleled, but I was not happy while pursuing them.” Finally, he writes movingly (remember, this was before our 50th) about what he would pursue next, including writing, charity, and music. “I love listening to music and I spend a lot of time doing it.”

He is survived by his wife, Andrea; his children, Robert L. Jackson, Jr. (Rivka) and Jennifer Ann (“J.J.”) Jackson (Steve Marcellino); five grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

— John Harger Stewart