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  • ‘all Of Them Loved Bob’: Mount Prospect Man Protected Presidents, Governors, Celebrities – Daily Herald

 October 24

by Carolina

Steve Zalusky

Updated 10/23/2022 7:32 PM

Bob Fisher protected presidents, governors and celebrities. He went on a double date with Hillary Rodham, later protected her husband, guarded Muhammed Ali and even played a role in the prosecution of former Gov. George Ryan.

He also was a devoted family man, youth leader and coach.

Fisher died Oct. 16 at 76. His wife of 53 years, Linda Fisher, said he had been experiencing a number of medical issues and decided to go into hospice.

“He wanted quality (of life), not quantity,” she said.

Judging by his accumulated experiences, Fisher achieved that goal.

While a student at Maine East High School in Park Ridge, he was not the date of future senator and secretary of state Hillary Rodham while they were out on a double date together. Later, when he was assigned to help protect President Bill Clinton, the president was eager to “learn all the stories about Hillary,” Linda Fisher said.

Bob Fisher began his career protecting others as a Des Plaines police officer before joining the Illinois State Police for a 20-year stint beginning in 1968. During his time as a state trooper, he served as bodyguard to governors Richard Ogilvie, Dan Walker, James Thompson and Jim Edgar.

He also was assigned to guard presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush when they visited Illinois.

Linda Fisher attributed her husband’s success as a bodyguard to his endearing personality. He often was assigned sensitive tasks, such as guarding the governors’ children.

“He doesn’t play politics. And he is very honest. And he is very closemouthed,” she said.

Once he was assigned to protect Ogilvie’s daughter while she was on a date.

“So they parked one night, and he had to park behind them,” Linda Fisher said. “He was probably only 24 to 25 years old. So, he still understood what dating’s all about.”

Thompson took such a liking to him that he invited Bob and Linda’s son, Michael, to the governor’s home in Chicago to play with Thompson’s daughter, Samantha.

“All of them loved Bob,” Linda Fisher said.

Among the other famous people Fisher guarded were Henry Kissinger, Golda Meir, Bob Hope and Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley.

While on assignment to Hope, Fisher got a call on the radio that Linda had been taken to the emergency room. He remained at Hope’s side.

“Bob Hope sent me the most gorgeous red roses,” Linda said.

Despite the demands of his job — long hours and frequent travel — Fisher maintained a balance between life and work. A member of the Edison Park Lutheran Church in Chicago’s Edison Park neighborhood, he served as a deacon, a baseball coach and a high school youth director.

After retiring from the state police, Fisher taught law enforcement classes at Triton College in River Grove from 1998 to 2001.

Later in life, he also worked as an investigator for the Illinois secretary of state’s office, where he played a role in the investigation into the deadly crash that killed six members of the Willis family in 1994. The investigation helped lead to the prosecution of George Ryan on corruption charges.

Visitation is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday, followed by an 11 a.m. funeral service, at Edison Park Lutheran Church, 6626 N. Oliphant Ave., Chicago. Interment will be private at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines.

For funeral information, call (847) 255-7800.

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