Robert L. Breeden

June 20, 1925March 15, 2013

Robert Lewis Breeden

Beloved father, grandfather, and friend passed away at his McLean home on March 15, 2013. Born June 20, 1925 in Montgomery, West Virginia, he served in the Navy during World War II in the Pacific Theater. He earned a master of Journalism from the University of Missouri. During his 36-year career at the National Geographic Society, he ran six divisions, sold more than 100 million books, and launched National Geographic Traveler and the Society’s children’s magazine.He was the Chairman of the Board at American Heritage Publishing. Was the longtime chairman and CEO of the White House Historical Association, which he helped to found. He also helped create the U.S. Capitol Historical Society and served as its Chairman. Devoted husband to Hilda Breeden, who predeceased him, loving father to Cynthia Scudder of Annapolis, MD, and cherished grandfather to Andrea and Catherine Scudder. Private burial followed by Celebration of Life on May 18. Donations to either Capital Caring Hospice, 4715 15th st. N, Arlington, Va. 22205, or Wellness House of Annapolis, 2625 Mas Que Farm Rd., Annapolis, Maryland 21403. National Funeral Home of Falls Church,


  • Celebration of Life Service

Robert L. Breeden

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April 29, 2013

Bob gave me and my late wife Gene Stuart our first major writing assignment in 1968--a whole volume ("Discovering Man's Past in the Americas") in the Special Publications series. This helped to change both our lives in many wonderful ways. For me, the work I did for Bob and later for the Magazine and the Committee for Research and Exploration shaped my lifetime of archaeology. Even now, after retiring in 1998, with nearly 40 years at the Society. I will never forget Bob Breeden's support and friendship!
George Stuart (Boundary End Archaeology, Barnardsville, NC)

Ray Rappold

April 22, 2013

Very proud to have known Bob (especially after I became a professional Geographer). A wonderful gentleman who added so much to everything he did. My mother was also friends with his many years ago. Your family is in my thoughts (like Bob - I'm a Fayette County boy).

Charles Herrmann

March 31, 2013

I was proud to know your father as “Mr. Breeden.” I always enjoyed working for and with him at National Geographic. He was one of those wonderful people who made eye contact with you and remembered your name and your work. If there was a Hall of Fame at the Geographic, he would be up there with the best.

Gerri Peek-Saunders

March 28, 2013

Dear Cynthia My late husband, Bob Peek, your Mother's cousin, was always delighted to be in their company and I felt lucky to become part of the "extended" family. They always treated us as if we were "special". Few people are born to be that gracious as I am sure you are also. I will miss visiting them in their lovely home. God bless you and your beautiful daughters. I know you have the Breeden strength to carry on. My heart and prayers are with you. With love Gerri

March 26, 2013

Dear Cindy, my thoughts and prayers are with you! Your Dad and Mom have always been so important in my life. I think my earliest memory was at your house. Thank you for sharing your wonderful family with my family all these years. We love you! Barbara Phifer

Gary Colbert

March 21, 2013

Cindy, simply a note to share how much your dad was a positive influence on both me personally and my career here at NGS. He was a special person you can always be very proud to say 'he was my dad!'. Take care and please let me know when the May 18 celebration details become available. XXOO Gary

Jim McDaniel

March 18, 2013

Cynthia, please know that you are in my prayers. Andrea and Catherine, your grandfather was truly an inspiration to me. He was ever the gentleman, even in times of great stress. I learned from him, and I carry those lessons with me in my own life. May he remain with you in your memories and in your hearts. God bless you...