Robert Bailey Solomon – Major General, United States Army

Robert K. Solomon enlisted during the Korean War in 1951.

His distinguished career included a tour as an instructor at the Army Information School at Fort Slocum, New York, and as the 3rd Armored Division Information Officer.

He served as VII Corps information officer in Stuttgart, Germany, and was then assigned to CINFO as chief of Army newspapers and later as chief of the Policy and Plans Division. He returned to DA as DCPA in 1976 and became CPA in 1977.

Solomon spearheaded the alignment of the Army's terminology with other federal agencies by adopting the change from public information to public affairs. As CPA, he was responsible for the successful merger and consolidation of the Army and Air Force Hometown News Center at Kelly AFB, Texas. This merger was a superb example of interservice cooperation between the PA communities while saving tax dollars. Establishment of the center was the keynote initiative in winning public acceptance and support of the all-volunteer force. Solomon died in 1998.

From contemporary press reports:

Robert B. Solomon, 67, a retired Army Major General who had served as a Chief Public Affairs Officer at the Pentagon and deputy inspector general, died of cancer March 29, 1998 at a hospital in Columbia, South Carolina.

He was a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and had served as lay cantor at Congregation Olam Tikvah in Fairfax. He retired in 1987 as commander of Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

Bob Solomon: He thought of others

Former Fort Jackson commander dies

Upon hearing the news of Bob Solomon's death, Larry Newman couldn't help but wonder if the pace of life in heaven might just speed up a bit.

“By now, he's calling a meeting of former Rotarians,” said Newman, a Columbia management consultant and close friend of Solomon.

“God needed him up there to get some things done.”

Solomon, a former Fort Jackson commander who is known to thousands in Columbia for his civic works after leaving the Army, died early Sunday after a short fight with cancer. He was 67.

A former enlisted soldier who rose to the rank of major general, Solomon became known to many here as a tireless volunteer and devoted family man. From raising money for local colleges to rescuing arts groups whose spending exceeded their income, Solomon earned a reputation as a selfless do-gooder.

“He stood out among men. When he spoke, people listened,” said Bob Crutchfield, president of the Columbia Rotary Club.

“He's a leader, a no-nonsense guy who was just always thinking about others.”

Among Solomon's many post-Army endeavors was Rotary Club. He served as president of the Columbia Rotary Club, the largest in the state. He also worked with the United Way, Benedict College, The Columbia Housing Authority, Midlands Marine Institute, Richland Memorial Hospital and the South Carolina Regional Opera Company.

The Baltimore native is credited with having rescued the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra from financial difficulties several years ago. Newman, president of the South Carolina Philharmonic, credits Solomon's doggedness with helping the orchestra overcome a six-figure deficit. He did that by cutting local concerts, recruiting donors and bringing a sense of professional management during his term as interim executive director. “He is the man who kept the orchestra alive,” Newman said.

Among Solomon's many interests were music, especially opera. Once a voice student at Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Solomon found a home in the Army after leaving his hometown. A tank officer who served in Korea and Vietnam, he commanded a tank battalion in Germany, served as chief of public affairs for the Army and deputy inspector general.

In describing the long hours he put in as a volunteer, friends say it was difficult to determine where Solomon's enormous energy came from.

“He was just a very active and very alive person,” said Jack Hupp, a retired Columbia executive and Rotarian.
“I think it came from within.”

Services for Solomon will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Beth Shalom Synagogue on Trenholm Road. Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 12/26/1933
  • DATE OF DEATH: 08/31/2002
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: 09/05/2002


  • MG   US ARMY
  • VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 12/14/1950 – 05/31/1987
  • DATE OF BIRTH: 12/14/1930
  • DATE OF DEATH: 03/29/1998
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: 04/03/1998

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