Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Epilogue | Robert Dressler

Television industry pioneer Robert Dressler dies at 83

TAMPA — Even in his 80s, well after he'd retired from his breakthrough work in color television and other technological advances, Robert Dressler kept his mind as sharp as ever.

Instead of crossword and Sudoku puzzles, he did complicated math and physics problems out of science books.

Not wanting to spend his senior years idle, he served in highly influential roles on various University of South Florida foundation and research advisory boards.

On Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Dressler was attending an investment committee meeting at USF when he collapsed and died. He was 83.

A few hours later, the school sent out the news in a statement that included condolences from Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio and USF president Judy Genshaft, who marveled at Mr. Dressler's generosity and intelligence.

"He was kind of like our own Einstein," said Paul Sanberg, a USF professor and longtime friend.

"He was a genius and one of the nicest and most humble people," Sanberg said. "Even though a lot of important decisions have been made because of him, he really didn't want to get credit. He just wanted to help."

Mr. Dressler held bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from Columbia University, later earning an honorary doctorate from USF.

After serving in the Navy in World War II, he was involved in electronic research in television, military electronics, and satellite reconnaissance for the Defense Department. He served on the national committee that formulated the first color television standard for the United States.

In the 1970s, Mr. Dressler became president and chief executive of Crown Industries, a small building materials manufacturer, building it into a major enterprise. From there he joined Raymond James and Associates in 1987, finishing his career as the managing director of corporate finance.

He also contributed to Tampa's Riverwalk project, the Upper Pinellas County Association for Retarded Citizens and the Tampa Jewish Federation. He was a national board member of the Museum of Science and Industry and served on the board of the Florida Orchestra.

Mr. Dressler and his wife, Edith, had three daughters.

"I am the luckiest woman alive to have been his wife for 40 years," Edith Dressler said in the USF news release.

"There's only one Robert Dressler on the planet, and there will never be another like him."

Television industry pioneer Robert Dressler dies at 83 11/19/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 19, 2008 11:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Suspect arrested in fatal shooting of Virginia special agent

    Crime

    RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia State Police special agent died Saturday after being shot by a man sitting in a car in Richmond, police said. The shooting suspect fled on foot, sparking an overnight manhunt that ended with the man's arrest about an hour after the agent's death.

    This image provided by the Virginia State Police shows law enforcement investigating the scene of a shooting early Saturday in Richmond, Va.   Special Agent Michael T. Walter, a Virginia State Police special agent died Saturday after being shot by a man sitting in a car in Richmond, police said. The shooting suspect fled on foot, sparking an overnight manhunt that ended with the man's arrest about an hour after the agent's death. Virginia State Police said in an emailed statement that Travis A. Ball of Richmond is being held without bond on charges that include malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. (Virginia State Police via AP)
  2. Mayor Rick Kriseman says St. Petersburg mayoral election is about going forward, not back

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman christened his campaign office Friday evening by telling his supporters that the mayoral election was about moving forward, not backward.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman says mayoral election is about inclusiveness Friday at campaign office rally
  3. Forecast: Lots of sunshine, low humidity to start Memorial Day weekend

    Weather

    The start of your long Memorial Day weekend is all sunshine this Saturday, according to WTSP 10Weather meteorologist Rick Kearbey.

    WTSP seven-day forecast on May 27, 2017.
  4. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  5. Global computer outage grounds British flights

    Airlines

    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports Saturday as a global IT failure caused severe disruption for travelers on a busy holiday weekend.

    British Airways planes are parked at Heathrow Airport in January. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, file)