Remembering Bob Swanson - by Leta Swanson

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Bob Swanson - Hold the Press!

Please think of my dad (Bob) today in a free moment. He sadley passed away three years ago to the date (10/15). I miss him everyday that passes without him.

He was extremely adventurous, inventive, a genuine friend, gentleman, the best father in the world. His contributions to the Outdoor Gear industry are astounding.

I will be sharing a chapter or two of a biography that I’m writing, about my dad (Bob Swanson), to honor his accomplishments, alongside his co founder (George Marks), and their success in founding Sierra Designs.

I regret not asking my father to tell me more stories about his life, because as I’ve been writing this bio, I’ve been also reading a considerable amount, and learning a lot about him as I go. Some nights before i climb into bed I wonder how in the world any one person could squeeze all the fascinating things he did, into a singular lifetime.

Editors note: if you have tales or memories you'd like to share, please let us know via the Comments section below.

Here are a few pictures that I've selected out of the book, that I thought were nice representations of his personality. If you took any of these pictures or have further details please let me know.

Bob Swanson and ? - Mary Tyler Moore show sleeping arrangements

Bob Swanson (left), friend (right), unknown. Looks like they may have been somewhere in Eastern Europe or Switzerland, as you can see the huge glacier peeking through the Hotel windows in the center of the room. Year unknown. Early fifties if I had to guess.

Bob Swanson - Catalog Cover - Skiing

Bob Swanson backpacking in the snow. A possible catalog shoot? Photographer unknown, (Editor - definitely a catalog shot. I'm trying to remember which one.)

Bob Swanson and Jack Hughes in Baja in 1968

Bob Swanson and Jack Hughes in Baja in 1968. They went from the Bay Area to Baja on Ducati Enduro bikes, and had a friend follow them in an old beat up Toyota truck in case they got into trouble. The Oakland Tribune did an article featuring them and their adventure.

Bob Swanson - Tent Designs

These are some of Bob's tent design drawings...not sure if it was for Sierra Dedigns or Walrus Tents.

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Story Copyright
10/19/19