Robert Henry Cotton ’37

Robert Henry Cotton ’37 died on December 19, 2003, in Fort Myers, Florida.

Born on November 17, 1914, in Newton, MA, he prepared for college at Newton High School and became a member of Zeta Psi Fraternity at Bowdoin. Following his graduation in 1937, he did graduate work in chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received his master of science degree in 1939. He also received his doctor of philosophy degree from Pennsylvania State University in 1944. He was the director of the Florida division of the National Research Corporation from 1945 to 1947 and was a member of the faculty at the University of Florida for a year before becoming director of research with the Holly Sugar Corporation in Colorado Springs, CO, in 1948. From 1954 to 1958 he was director of research with Huron Milling (Hercules, Inc.) in Harbor Beach, MI. During 20 years with the Continental Baking Company and after the acquisition of Continental by ITT, he held a number of positions, including vice president and chief scientist food products. Before his retirement in 1979 he was also for three years the founding chief executive officer of Fundacion Chile in Santiago, Chile, an organization co-funded by ITT and the Chilean government. He was the author of more than one hundred scientific and technical articles and patents and developed the first commercially successful high fiber bread. He served as chairman of the American Association of Cereal Chemists and was honored in 1979 as the recipient of the Babcock-Hart Award for Advancement of Public Health through Nutrition. He served as president of the Association of Research Directors and also of the American Association of Cereal Chemists. He was a pioneer in the development of frozen orange juice concentrate in the 1940s. Surviving are his wife, Mildred Woodward Smith Cotton, whom he married in 1948; a daughter, Dorothy Kirwood of Naples, FL; two sons, Leonard W. Cotton ’71 of New Canaan, CT, and Thomas C. Cotton of Westport, CT; eight grandchildren, including Ashley C. Cotton ’01 of New York, NY; and two great-grandchildren.