Robert H. Malott, trustee emeritus, 1926-2018

University Communications

Trustee Emeritus Robert H. Malott, former chairman and chief executive officer of FMC Corporation, who served as vice chairman of the University of Chicago Board of Trustees, died April 4. He was 91 years old.

Malott was elected a trustee of the University in 1976. He served as vice chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1988 to 1993, was elected a life trustee in 1993, and was named a trustee emeritus in 2007. Malott joined FMC in 1952 and was elected chief executive in 1971, moving the corporate headquarters to Chicago. He led FMC for two decades, retiring in 1991.

Malott’s civic leadership and philanthropic work ranged from higher education to scientific research to the arts. He served on the governing board of Argonne National Laboratory, which the University manages for the U.S. Department of Energy, and chairman of the board of overseers of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Malott was chairman of the board of the National Museum of Natural History and served on the boards of the Public Broadcasting Service, the National World War II Museum and the National Academy of Sciences. He was a life director of the Lyric Opera Company of Chicago and the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Malott was born in Boston. His father, Deane W. Malott, became chancellor of the University of Kansas where his son enrolled at age 16, studying chemistry and playing basketball. Malott enlisted in the U.S. Navy a year later and served on an electronics repair ship stationed in San Francisco. After World War II, he returned to the University of Kansas to finish his bachelor's degree. He earned an MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and attended New York University Law School. Malott served as assistant to the dean at the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration before joining FMC.

Malott is survived by his three children, Liza, Barb and Deane. Elizabeth “Ibby” Malott, his wife of 43 years, died in 2003. In keeping with UChicago board tradition, a memorial resolution in honor of Malott will be presented at the board meeting in May.