The PERC family is saddened to share that PERC Senior Fellow Robert “Bobby” McCormick passed away on September 3, 2023, peacefully at his home in Clemson, South Carolina. Bobby was a gifted educator and an accomplished scholar in economics, having published academic articles, essays, and books on topics ranging from antitrust regulation and public choice to environmental economics and energy markets.
Bobby began his career at Clemson University where he received his bachelor’s degree in economics in 1972. In 1974, he received his master’s degree in economics from Clemson University. Later, he earned his Ph.D. in economics at Texas A&M University in 1978. In 2002, Bobby was recognized as a PERC senior fellow and directed PERC’s programming for environmental entrepreneurs who want to have a better understanding of how business and economic principles can be applied to environmental problems.
He held teaching positions at the University of Rochester, Virginia Tech, Universidad Francisco Marroquin (Guatemala), CIMBA (Asolo Italy), and, of course, Clemson University. Throughout his career, Bobby’s intellect, passion, and wit were acknowledged with awards spanning the Prince Innovative Teacher of the Year (1998) to the National Scholars Mentor Award (2004 and 2006), among others. In 2022, he was awarded Clemson’s highest honor, the Clemson Medallion.
Having been raised on a family farm in Georgia, Bobby grew up understanding the value of property rights. As he put it, “good fences make good neighbors” is both good poetry and good policy. His scholarship in the realm of economics and his life-long work demonstrating the role property rights play in conservation helped shape PERC. We are forever grateful for his contributions and will miss him dearly.