January 20, 2022

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Robert Haas, Financier and Aerial Photographer, Dies at 74

Robert Haas, Financier and Aerial Photographer, Dies at 74

Robert Haas, a financier who in his 50s used his wealth to go in a markedly completely different route, changing into a broadcast aerial photographer, after which in his 60s started accumulating classic and custom-made bikes and making a Texas museum to show them, died on Sept. 28 in a hospital in Dallas. He was 74.

The trigger was a respiratory sickness, stated Stacey Mayfield, his companion and the director of the Haas Moto Museum & Sculpture Gallery in Dallas.

Mr. Haas, who was often known as Bobby, made his fortune within the Eighties. He and a companion, Thomas Hicks, led a gaggle of buyers within the leveraged buyouts of 7-Up and Dr Pepper, then offered 49 p.c of the mixed delicate drink corporations for $600 million to Prudential-Bache Securities in 1988.

“I used to be 41 years previous and I’m the place I believed I is perhaps once I was 71, occasions 10,” he stated in “Leaving Tracks” (2021), a self-produced documentary movie. “What do I do now?”

He and Mr. Hicks, who had fashioned Hicks & Haas in 1984 in Dallas, ended their partnership after 5 years. And whereas Mr. Haas remained within the personal fairness enterprise for an additional 20 years, he sought different diversions that his nice wealth might afford him.

With $2,000 in newly-purchased digicam tools however no information of the way to use it, he traveled in 1994 to a sport reserve in Kenya on a photographic safari. He discovered shortly from professionals, returned to Africa a number of occasions, and printed a ebook of pictures, “A Imaginative and prescient of Africa” (1998).

On one other safari the 12 months his ebook was printed, he chartered a helicopter from which he discovered an exciting new perspective.

“As soon as that helicopter lifted off, I appeared down on the earth from above and felt like a totally completely different photographer,” he advised the Yale alumni journal in 2011. “My eyes, hand and mind started working in a different way.”

Tethered by a harness to his seat in order that he wouldn’t fall from helicopters with their doorways eliminated, Mr. Haas produced wildlife and panorama pictures that he dropped at Nationwide Geographic Books, which printed his work in “By way of the Eyes of the Gods: An Aerial Imaginative and prescient of Africa” (2005) and “By way of the Eyes of the Condor: An Aerial Imaginative and prescient of Latin America” (2007).

The latter ebook incorporates an inconceivable picture that he discovered whereas flying over the Yucatán Peninsula: tons of of flamingos who had by some means fashioned the form of a large flamingo.

“That was the Holy Grail,” Mr. Haas told The Toronto Star in 2010. “The Holy Grail is the flexibility to seize a picture that nobody else has ever captured earlier than and may be very unlikely to be captured once more.”

In “By way of the Eyes of the Vikings: An Aerial Imaginative and prescient of Arctic Lands” (2010), additionally printed by Nationwide Geographic, Mr. Haas photographed glaciers, bays, rivers and different pure landscapes in Norway, Sweden, Greenland, Iceland and Alaska.

Lisa Lytton, the challenge director for the three books, stated by cellphone: “The pictures that have been probably the most profitable have been when he was capturing one thing that appeared like an summary portray, with stunning shade and light-weight. He had a fantastic eye for that.”

Robert Bradley Haas was born on June 12, 1947, in Cleveland. His father, Melville, was a automobile vendor. His mom, Phyllis (Bain) Haas, was a ladies’s style marketing consultant.

Mr. Haas acquired a bachelor’s diploma in 1969 from Yale College, the place he studied psychology, and graduated from Harvard Legislation College in 1972. After working for a regulation agency and a enterprise capital firm in Cleveland, he moved to Dallas to create Hicks & Haas.

Apart from 7-Up and Dr Pepper, Hicks & Haas constructed an funding portfolio that included different delicate drink manufacturers (together with A&W Root Beer) in addition to corporations involving pay-per-view tv in lodge rooms, steel welding and flooring tools.

“The lesson that we’ve got each discovered is that one of the best factor you are able to do is to have good companions and relationship with affection, belief and respect,” Mr. Haas told The New York Times in 1988. “We’ve got a particular capacity to cancel out each other’s unhealthy concepts.”

After parting with Mr. Hicks in 1989, Mr. Haas created the personal fairness agency Haas & Companions, which later grew to become Haas, Wheat & Companions. It specialised in smaller offers than Hicks & Haas had accomplished; one in all its greatest identified investments was the acquisition of 40 percent of Playtex Products for $180 million. Mr. Haas served as Playtex’s chairman from 1995 to 2004.

His deep dive into aerial pictures gave method to an equally passionate immersion in bikes about 10 years in the past. After shopping for one, he purchased extra and started to experience them (however solely these with sidecars, which gave him extra stability). He was as within the artwork and building of basic bikes as he was with new ones, which he commissioned.

“We’re each mainly nerds, and he grew to become fascinated by the design and mechanical points of the bikes,” Craig Rodsmith, who constructed three bikes for Mr. Haas, including one called “The Killer,” stated by cellphone. “For Bobby, it wasn’t solely the bikes — he preferred the story, the personalities behind them.”

Mr. Haas opened his Haas Moto Museum in 2018; it now has 230 bikes.

His curiosity in bikes led him to experience for a few 12 months with the Viet Nam Vets Legacy Vets Motorcycle Club, a gaggle made up fully of veterans and energetic members of the navy; he described his time with them in “Shakespeare and the Brothers: Embedded with a Band of Bikers” (2015).

Along with Ms. Mayfield, who stated she plans to maintain the museum going for about three extra years, he’s survived by his daughters, Samantha Haas, Courtney Haas Bauch and Vanessa Haas Hood; 4 grandchildren; his sister, Jodi Davis; and his brother Richard. His marriage to Candice (Goldfarb) Haas, in 1969, resulted in divorce in 2017.

Mr. Haas final 12 months determined that he would bequeath the bikes he had commissioned again to their builders. As he advised them in a scene captured in “Leaving Tracks,” he stated he needed to return to them “the kids of your souls.”

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