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About Robert

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Robert M. Edsel has had at least three clearly defined successful careers in his 64 years in a wide variety of fields. From his beginnings as a nationally ranked tennis player, to building a leading oil and gas exploration business that pioneered the use of horizontal drilling technology, to his achievements as a #1 New York Times Bestselling author writing about and representing heroes of civilization we today know as the Monuments Men, Robert has used his innate curiosity and love of learning to bring excellence, innovation, and integrity to all that he does.


Robert has applied his wealth of experience and accomplishment to build businesses as well as advise others on start-ups of private and public companies, both “for profit” and not-for-profit. During his sixteen-year career in the exploration business, success depended on assessing risk and successfully negotiating hundreds of transactions, both buying and selling assets. While an entrepreneur at heart, he has served as a director of a successful construction aggregate company, through multiple iterations of raising private equity, to ultimately a publicly listed company. No fan of hype, Robert leads by example reminding others of the importance of “under promising, and over delivering.” He believes in “Excellence in all things.” When asked his specialty skill, he replies, “Getting things done.”

Since 2016, Robert Edsel has donated his time to meet with men and women in uniform serving in the U.S. Army Civil Affairs Division who today perform many of the duties of the Monuments Men of World War II. In addition to attending briefings, Robert has delivered pro-bono presentations on base at Ft. Meade, Maryland and Ft. McCoy, Wisconsin.


Robert has a long history of philanthropic endeavors. He dedicated nine years to service as a Trustee of St. Mark’s School of Texas, as Chairman of the Development Committee, a member of the Executive Committee and as President of the St. Mark’s Alumni Board (1987-1991). Robert founded the Cochran Chapel Homeowners Association in Dallas in 1993, serving as President for the first three years. In 2003, Robert served as Chairman of a committee working to develop a master plan for the Turtle Creek corridor in Dallas. In February 2004, the Committee gifted the master plan to the City of Dallas. It now serves as the City’s master plan for the Turtle Creek greenbelt. Robert also served on the Advisory Board of the Meadows Museum of Art, Dallas and the American Friends of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.


While living in Italy, Robert was a founding Board Member of Friends of Florence. In addition to writing the group’s by-laws, he also served as Vice President for the first two years. He is still involved with the group and serves on their Council of Honorary Advisors.


Robert also served as a director of Polaris Minerals Corporation, a Vancouver-based company, from July 2002-October 2008. Polaris Minerals focuses on supplying construction aggregates to coastal urban markets on the western seaboard of North America. He served on the Compensation and Corporate Governance Committees.


2008 President’s Call to Service Award
Presented to individuals by the President of the United States’ Council on Service and Civic Participation, in recognition and appreciation of their commitment to strengthening the Nation and for making a difference through volunteer service.

2008 Hope for Humanity Award
Presented to individuals by the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance, in recognition of their dedication to promoting tolerance, education, and understanding, and to reducing prejudice. 

2011 Texas Medal of Arts Award
Inspired by the National Medal of Arts, it is awarded to Texas leaders and luminaries in the arts and entertainment industry for creative excellence and exemplary talents.

2011 St. Mark's of Texas Distinguished Alumnus Award
It recognizes achievement of exceptional nature in any field, vocational or voluntary, covering an entire career.

2014 Lifetime Achievement Award 
Presented to individuals by the National Council for the Promotion of Italian Language in American Schools, in recognition of their research, passion and commitment to the preservation of Italian Art and Culture.
2014 Records of Achievement Award
Presented by the Foundation for the National Archives, in recognition of individuals whose work has fostered a broader national awareness of the history and identity of the United States through the use of original records. 

2015 Anne Frank Human Writes Award
Presented by the Anne Frank Center to writers who have proven themselves to be exceptional leaders in combating the sort of intolerance, prejudice and injustice that Anne Frank and so many others faced.

2017 Honorary Member of the U.S. Army’s 88th Infantry Division
Presented by the 88th Infantry Division in recognition of dedicated support of the Blue Devil’s Centennial Celebration.
2019 Pio Alferano Service to the Arts Award
This award, named in honor of the founder of Italy’s Carabinieri Cultural Heritage Protection Unit, is presented for distinguished service to the arts

2021 Decoration of Honor Meritorious for Polish Culture
Presented by Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture and National Heritage Prof. Dr. hab. Piotr Gliński for distinguished service to Polish culture and heritage.
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