Robert W. ‘Bob’ Goode dies at 80

Son of pioneering broadcaster Mal Goode; Former Senior VP of Mellon Bank

 

by Rob Taylor Jr.
Courier Staff Writer

His father, Malvin R. “Mal” Goode, was the first African American correspondent in the U.S. for a major TV network, ABC, so the “Goode” name is historic.

But Robert W. “Bob” Goode made sure to carve out his own path, leaving his own legacy via personal and professional accomplishments.

Bob Goode, a Westinghouse High School graduate (and member of the school’s Hall of Fame), former state human relations commissioner and senior vice president at Mellon Bank, died on Aug. 18 after a 15-month battle with cancer. He was 80.

“Robert was truly a scholar, husband, dad and decent human being who gave back to his community in a positive manner,” echoed Ronald B. Saunders, president of the Dr. Edna B. McKenzie Branch of the Association for the Study of African Life and History, in an interview with the New Pittsburgh Courier. “Robert opened up many doors for African American students at Westminster College, where he is considered a pioneer.”

Saunders first met Bob Goode when Saunders was employed as a human relations representative II in the Pittsburgh Regional Office of the Pa. State Human Relations Commission. “Whenever I needed a subpoena signed to effectuate the work of the Commission, I would take it to Bob to sign in his capacity as a Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

Commissioner Goode was always available to sign subpoenas and it was obvious he loved his work as Commissioner. The Pennsylvania State Human Relations Commission at that time had the reputation as one of the most aggressive and effective Human Rights enforcement agencies in the country,” Saunders recalled.

Nancy Bolden, wife of the late legendary Pittsburgh Courier reporter Frank Bolden, said that Bob Goode had a passion for social justice issues. She knew of Robert Goode through the working relationship her husband, Frank, had with Goode’s father, Mal, when the two worked at the Courier. Nancy Bolden said she got to know more about Robert Goode when he joined her church, Church of the Redeemer, on Forbes Avenue in Squirrel Hill.

“Bob was a really bright guy that had an incredible career,” Nancy Bolden recalled to the Courier on Aug. 20. “He was a caring person, a very active member of the church, and of course, he came from a family where faith was important.”

Nancy Bolden called Bob Goode’s death “a great loss.”

In the corporate world, Bob Goode was one of the giants. At a time in the mid-1980s when there were no more than 30 African Americans in the entire country who held an upper-management position for a bank, there Bob Goode was, as senior vice president of Mellon Bank. He was featured in a February 1987 article in Black Enterprise magazine; at the time, he led the bank’s Northeastern Lending Division, “a coveted post among aspiring banking professionals,” the article said.

At the time, Bob Goode led a staff of lending officers who furnished loans to major corporations in New England, New York and parts of New Jersey. The Black Enterprise article discussed how Bob Goode, after graduating from Westminster College, in New Wilmington, Pa., entered Mellon Bank’s management training program in 1964.

“Mellon was starting to look for Blacks, but they didn’t know how to go about it,” Bob Goode recalled in the feature.
Bob Goode was discovered by Mellon Bank via the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, which operated a “skills bank” that matched Black candidates with companies looking for minority workers, the article said. In 1968, Bob Goode decided to enter the bank’s in-house credit-training programs, which helped him climb the bank’s corporate ladder.

Born on May 30, 1940, to Mal and Mary Lavelle Goode, Bob Goode had six siblings. The Goode family was a large and prosperous one. Mal Goode (1908-1995) worked not only at the Courier, but at radio stations KQV and WHOD. As the family lived in Homestead, Mal worked as a night janitor in the Homestead steel mills as he attended the University of Pittsburgh. Mal later worked in the juvenile justice system at the Centre Avenue YMCA and managed housing projects for the Pittsburgh Housing Authority, according to a 2013 report by the Tribune-Review.

Eventually, Mal made it to the national stage in 1962, when ABC hired him as a backup reporter at the United Nations. He was often seen on television during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the 1964 and 1968 presidential election coverage.
Bob Goode’s aunt, Mary Elizabeth Goode Dudley, had her own radio program in Pittsburgh, titled, “Movin’ Around.” Known on-air as “Mary Dee,” she also co-anchored a local television program with her brother, Mal.

Bob Goode also served in the Marine Reserves, in addition to numerous community boards. His official obituary also stated that he loved children, and that children loved “Uncle Bob.” At the time of his death, Bob Goode was collaborating with the authors of an upcoming book on his father, Mal.

Bob Goode is survived by his wife, Phyllis Moorman Goode, son, Michael Moorman Goode, siblings Richard Goode, Roberta Goode-Wilburn, Ronald Goode and Rosalia G. Parker, and sisters-in-law Joyce Moorman Lee and Patricia Moorman Kelly.

The family suggests donations in memory of Bob Goode to the POISE Foundation or Hospital Albert Schweitzer Haiti.

 

ROBERT W. “BOB” GOODE

 

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