Mr. Dobbs was deeply committed to the city where he lived and worked. His corporate board service included Southern Bell, Atlanta Gas Light, Trust Company Bank, and Rich's, Inc. His community service was extensive. He served as president of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the Atlanta Rotary Club; he also served on the Fulton County Board of Health, the Atlanta Chapter of the American Red Cross, and the Arthritis Foundation. Mr. Dobbs maintained a lifelong commitment to education and was a trustee of Emory University, Young Harris College, Agnes Scott College, and Woodward Academy.
Much of his leisure time was spent enjoying nature. He and Helen, his wife of 48 years, loved the North Georgia countryside and shared their mountain retreat with countless friends and family members. He also loved the ocean and was known as a skilled boat captain who was always prepared for every contingency.
Mr. Dobbs died on June 9, 2003, at the age of 97. He was a true Southern gentleman, exhibiting modesty and restraint in every aspect of his life. Even in times when he could have commanded the spotlight, he remained humble and forthright. He was a man of few words. His story is best told by the way he lived his live - with honesty, integrity, perseverance, and generosity of spirit.
The Foundation was established in 1959 as the Helen and Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation and was later renamed the R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation. For nearly 40 years the Foundation operated as a small philanthropic vehicle for Mr. Dobb's interests. At the turn of the century, encouraged by his nephew and fellow trustee E. Cody Laird, Jr., Mr. Dobbs began to formalize the Foundation's governance and guidelines to prepare the way for a family philanthropy that would extend beyond his lifetime.
Today, the R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation operates with the mission to improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities by supporting educational opportunities, improving access to health services, and promoting environmental stewardship. The Foundation is committed to honoring the life and impact of Mr. Dobbs through its work.