Robert B. Congleton was born in Versailles, Kentucky on December 21, 1924. He graduated from Darlington School in Rome, Georgia in 1942 after having served as the Senior Class President. He immediately enrolled at the University of Kentucky for two quarters before transferring to Princeton University. He was soon drafted into the Navy and assigned to the Amphibious Corps where he served as an Electronic Technicians Mate on the Group Staff of an LSM landing craft in the Pacific Theater. In the winter of 1945, he re-entered Princeton University.
In June of 1948, he married his high school sweetheart, Marian, who had waited for him during the war. He graduated from Princeton University in February 1949 with a degree in Economics. Mr. Congleton and his bride returned to Lexington and entered the family retail lumber business where he spent the next 12 years. He then joined with Garey White and Bill Lane to co-found a general contracting firm which was changed from Lane, White & Congleton, to White & Congleton, and is now the Congleton-Hacker Company. It is in its 43rd year of operations and is under the current leadership of President, J. Larry Hacker.
This company is proud to have built many prestigious structures throughout Central Kentucky. Among these are the renovation and modernization of an entire city block in downtown Lexington known as Victorian Square, the Markey Cancer Foundation Buildings on the University of Kentucky campus, extensive work for many years on the St. Joseph and Central Baptist Hospital campuses, IBM Building 200/202, the Pin Oak Farm mansion, and several major office buildings in downtown Lexington. The company is currently providing construction management services for the expansion and renovation of The Lexington Center.
Mr. Congleton and his spouse of 55 years are the proud parents of three children, Bobby who is deceased, John Congleton, who is President of Congleton Lumber Company as a fourth generation family member to lead this 99 year old business, and Barbara Thornbury, who is employed as an interior decorator in Lexington. John and Barbara each have two children, three of whom are in college and the fourth, a freshman at Henry Clay High School. The children, of course, bring a great deal of joy to their grandparents.
Mr. Congleton has a strong interest in the horse business and until very recently, owned and operated Oakland Farm, a thoroughbred breeding and boarding farm in Woodford County. Through the years, his leisure time has been spent on the tennis courts, and he is an avid fan of the University of Kentucky sports teams.
Mr. Congleton has also been involved in several civic and business organizations including Past-President of the Kentucky Retail Lumber Dealers Association, Past-Chairman of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce, Past-President of Equestrian Events, Inc., Past-Treasurer of Lexington Center Corporation, former Board Member of the Lexington School, the Lexington Rotary Club, Lexington Philharmonic Society, and has been an Elder of Central Christian Church.
He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the Congleton-Hacker Company and is a Lifetime Trustee of Darlington School, Board Member of the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation, and Board Member of Congleton Lumber Company. In 2000, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Associated General Contractors of Kentucky and is proud to be a University of Kentucky Fellow.