ROBERT D. ORR was born in Evansville, Indiana. He graduated in 1940 from Yale University, earning a bachelor's degree in American History, and he attended Harvard Graduate School of Business. He served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific theater during World War II, rising from the rank of private to major. During his service, he received the Legion of Merit medal. He served as a precinct committeeman, convention delegate, and Vanderburgh County Republican chair. He chaired Indiana Industries, Inc. of Evansville, a manufacturer of recreational products. His first elective office was as a member and chair of the Center Township Advisory Board in Vanderburgh County. Elected as a member of the Indiana State Senate in 1968, he served four years before he was nominated and elected lieutenant governor in 1972. As lieutenant governor, he served eight years as director of the Indiana Department of Commerce, commissioner of agriculture, and president of the senate. He was elected Governor of Indiana in 1980 and relected in 1984. He was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to be a member of the Amtrak Board of Directors and he was president of the Council of State Governments.
Source: Indiana Historical Bureau