McNair, Robert "Mac" Malcolm Jr. (April 1, 2019)

Green Book and Yearbook photos (if available): 
Freshman dorm: 
Butterfield Hall


Robert Malcolm "Mac",Jr., Age 72, of Newtown Square, died April 1st 2019 after a short illness.

Robert was born on March 2nd, 1947 in Tarboro, North Carolina To Elizabeth Edwards and Robert McNair. After graduating from Friends' Select School in 1965, he went on to graduate from Dartmouth College in 1969. He served as a law clerk in the U.S. Army from 1969 - 1971. He then attended Stanford University, where he secured his J.D. in 1974. Robert married Sally Stephenson on May 12th, 1979, and they raised two daughters Sarah and Catherine.

Robert had a highly successful career in California, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania as a corporate attorney who specialized in healthcare law. In his spare time, he was a voracious reader of history books, and enjoyed cycling and swimming before his health prevented it in later years.

Beloved husband of 39 years to Sally S. (nee Stephenson) McNair. Loving father of Sarah S. McNair, and Catherine M. McNair (Daniel Keyser). Cherished son of Elizabeth (nee Edwards) and the late Robert Malcolm McNair, Sr. Devoted brother of Lucy, Carol, and Grant Cooper.

Relatives and Friends are invited to his Visitation on Friday, April 12th, from 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM, ALL IN CHURCH at St. David's Episcopal Church, 763 Valley Forge Rd, Wayne, PA 19087. Funeral Service to follow 11:00 AM. Inurnment Private.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory to:
Warriors' Ascent at, International Rescue Committee at, or Blue Ridge Conservancy at


A comment from classmate Dona Heller:

In the late ’70s and early ’80s, my husband, Mike Saphier D’64 and I were law partners with Bob McNair D’69 in a national firm that specialized in business and regulatory law in the healthcare field. At that time, healthcare law was just beginning to develop as a specialty, and we all relished the process of creatively and successfully pursuing difficult matters aggressively on behalf of our healthcare clients. In that practice environment, Bob was a particularly ideal partner: super bright, beyond industrious, intense, creative, OCD, ethical, discreet, and highly effective. He also was humorous and often laughed at himself. Though always intensely busy, he nevertheless made time to train and develop the associate attorneys who worked for him, inspiring them to do the same for the new lawyers who followed.

Bob and I worked closely together on one of the first matters that I handled at the firm. We would drive to summer client meetings in 100+ degree heat in his old MG, with no air conditioning, arriving drenched in sweat and laughing. When it rained, the water leaked into Bob’s car in many places, and he informed me that it was my job to bail it out, using whatever hollow objects were in the car at the time. Though a highly demanding supervisor, Bob provided an example of what we strived to be. And he was kind and helpful, teaching me a great deal about practicing law and also about life.

Here’s a short story about Bob that I always will remember (and for which I remain extremely grateful!):  When I began dating my [now] husband, Mike (who, at the time, was a senior partner in the law firm), we were not yet at the point of telling anyone in the firm that we had become involved. So we limited our after-hours outings to places that we figured that no one else in the firm ever would dream of frequenting. But on one occasion, as we emerged from Mike’s car, we were greeted—totally coincidentally—by Bob, who laughed a bit knowingly and greeted us warmly. Having joined the firm only recently, I knew that I was the one whose tenure was vulnerable, and visions of what I felt was my certain and imminent dismissal flooded my mind. But much to Bob’s credit, he chattered away as if running into the two of us together, outside of work, in place very much off the beaten path was perfectly normal. And to our knowledge, he never did mention a word about that encounter to anyone in the firm!

Mike and I were very saddened to learn of Bob’s recent death, and we send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Sally and two daughters.