Remembering Bob Dickerson

June 1, 2015
by Joanne Carter, Executive Director of RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund

I have some sad news to share about a much loved member of our community. The world has lost a truly exceptional man and advocate in Bob Dickerson. Bob died Sunday evening at home with his family.

Bob epitomized the best of what RESULTS is and what we can be—in our communities and the world. He was an inspiration, a leader, a dedicated ally, and an incredibly generous friend—for me and for so many people in Washington State, on Capitol Hill, across the country and the world.

Bob was passionate, generous, and relentless in his love for others and his commitment to leaving the world a better place. And he did leave the world a better place.

He stopped at nothing when it came to standing up for the rights of children. For more than two decades, he played an immeasurable role in dozens of successful campaigns to increase access to education, protect kids against leading killer diseases, and create a more equitable and just world where every family has a chance to thrive.

Last fall, Bob sent an email to the rest of the RESULTS family, reminding us all that there was no time to waste in our advocacy on helping countries have the resources needed to vaccinate all of their children (through Gavi.) A few days later, a version of his message wound up in the New York Times, calling thousands more to action. He titled the piece “Death without Regrets.”

In it, Bob said “don’t be sitting in the bleachers at this historic moment.”

Bob was never, ever in the bleachers.

Fifteen years ago when he was diagnosed with cancer, he quit his job and threw himself fulltime into advocacy. Last year, when Bob found out he didn’t have much time left, he only worked harder, wanting to use every moment he had.

Much of the Washington state congressional delegation, past and present, knows Bob by name. He developed deep and powerful relationships with Congress, the media, and other activists.

Even those who didn’t get the chance to know Bob personally knew him for his impassioned and emotionally moving calls to action.

Bob’s legacy isn’t just the change he helped create in the world, but the change he created in the people around him. For so many, Bob was a mentor, a friend, and an inspiration. I know he was to me. He helped us be braver and bolder and to keep going even when it got hard. It’s why we’ve created a grassroots leadership award in Bob’s name.

For anyone who wants to share a memory of Bob, we invite you to send your reflections to us at [email protected]. We will combine the entries to share with his loved ones.

Bob left a piece of himself with all of us. And now it’s up to all of us to honor that legacy the same way Bob lived his life: unwavering in his commitment to justice – and without regrets.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Bob’s family.


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