Robert Presley O'Bannon


Honorary Degree (1974)
Doctor of Laws
Location: New Albany
Presenter: John William Ryan


Robert P. O'Bannon is a native Hoosier, born and reared in Corydon, Indiana. He and his wife, Faith, have two sons and three daughters. Following his graduation from Purdue University School of Mechanical Engineering, he was employed as a sales engineer for the Henry Vogt Machine Company of Louisville. In 1930, he became associated with his father in publishing The Corydon Democrat newspaper. In 1943, upon the death of his father, he became manager-president of the O'Bannon Publishing Company and publisher of the weekly Corydon Democrat. His newspaper has won many awards for excellence and in 1971 it was judged among the top seven for general excellence in the National Newspaper Contest. Also in 1971, Mr. O'Bannon was inducted by Sigma Delta Chi, professional journalistic society, into the Indiana Newspapermen's Hall of Fame.

Always interested in civic affairs, Mr. O'Bannon served for nine years on the Corydon School Board. In 1950, he was elected to the Indiana State Senate. He was re-elected four times, serving for twenty years. He was chairman of the Senate Finance Committee in three sessions of the legislature. He was a member of the State Budget Committee for eighteen years and served as chairman for eight years. He also served eight years on the Governing Board of the Council of State Governments.

Mr. O'Bannon is chairman of the Board of Directors of the First Federal Savings and Loan Association at Corydon and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Corydon State Bank. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Meridian Mutual Insurance Company of Indianapolis. In addition, he is a member of the Indiana University Southeast Board of Advisors.

Mr. O'Bannon has been awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Laws by both Indiana State University at Terre Haute and Purdue University.