|Died||March 31, 1992 (aged 77)|
|Burial place||Pacific View Memorial Park, Corona del Mar, California|
|Occupation||Restaurateur, businessman, fry cook|
|Known for||Founding Bob's Big Boy and the national Big Boy chain; inventing the double-deck hamburger|
|Board member of|
|Mayor of Glendale, California|
October 1948 – April 1949
|Preceded by||Joseph F. Baudino|
|Succeeded by||George R. Wickham|
Robert C. Wian (June 15, 1914 – March 31, 1992) was the founder of the Big Boy restaurant chain. The restaurant started as a 10-stool hamburger stand in Glendale, California, opening in 1936 with an investment of $300 raised from the sale of his car. Wian sold Bob's Big Boy and rights to the Big Boy chain to the Marriott Corp. in 1967 for $7 million ($54 million in 2020).
Wian was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Robert E. Wian and his wife Cora. The Wians moved to Glendale in 1924 while the younger Wian was still a child. Wian served as the mayor of the city of Glendale from October 1948 to April 1949 after serving on the city council in 1948 and replacing a mayor who was removed by a recall election. He resigned four months later, citing conflicts with Bob's Big Boy and "a desire to make an occasional fishing trip". Wian was also a member of the service organization 20-30 Club, serving as president of the local Glendale club, governor of the Southern California district, and as national trustee.
After selling Big Boy, Wian remained as a Marriott vice-president and president of the "Big Boy Restaurants of America" division for about a year, then sat on the Marriott board for an additional year before retiring. As a board member, Wian recommended Marriott approach his friend Roy Rogers about the use of his name to rebrand the corporation's RoBee's Roast Beef chain.
Wian married Frances Abbott in 1935, who bore his only natural son, Robert Paul "Bobby" Wian (1936–1973). Following his divorce from Abbott in 1956, he married June Ealey-Baehler in 1957, becoming step-father to her son, Chapman "Chappy" Baehler, and daughter Barbara Baehler. The couple also adopted a son, Casey, and daughter, Julie. His joy in Casey and Julie, and his time with them too limited by business, influenced his decision to sell Big Boy. Wian retired in the 1970s and enjoyed outdoor activities on his 800-acre ranch in Valyermo, CA where he lived until relocating to Newport Beach in 1985. Wian died in Newport Beach, California, in 1992.
- "Vital Records: Marriage Licenses Issued". The San Bernardino County Sun. September 11, 1935. p. 17. Retrieved November 17, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
WIAN-ABBOT—Robert Charles Wian, 21, Pennsylvania, resident of Eagle Rock and Frances Lenore Abbott, 18, New York, resident of Burbank.
- "Divorces Granted". The Los Angeles Times. May 11, 1956. p. III–9. Retrieved May 19, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
WIAN. Frances L. from Robert C.
- "Wian, June". Obituaries/funeral announcements. The Los Angeles Times. October 5, 2007. p. B9. Retrieved May 19, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Marriott-Hot Shoppes Negotiating Acquisition Of Wian Enterprises". The Wall Street Journal. December 8, 1966. p. 10 es. Alternate Link via ProQuest.
- 1634 to 1699: Harris, P. (1996). "Inflation and Deflation in Early America, 1634–1860: Patterns of Change in the British American Economy". Social Science History. 20 (4): 469–505. JSTOR 1171338. 1700-1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How much is that in real money?: a historical price index for use as a deflator of money values in the economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
- Yamada, Katherine (November 1, 2003). "Wian estate designated historical landmark". Glendale News-Press.
- "Wian Sworn in as Glendale's Youngest Mayor". Los Angeles Times. October 5, 1948. p. 15 – via Newspapers.com. Alternate Link via ProQuest.
- "Glendale Mayors". City of Glendale. Archived from the original on 2016-03-06. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
- "Four Elected to Glendale City Council". Los Angeles Times. September 29, 1948. p. 2 – via Newspapers.com. Alternate Link via ProQuest.
- Lait, Matt (April 1, 1992). "Robert C. Wian, Founder of Bob's Big Boy, Dies at 77". Los Angeles Times.
- "Recall Ousts Mayor, Three Councilmen". Los Angeles Times. August 11, 1948. p. B6 – via Newspapers.com.
Mayor Joseph F. Baudino and three Councilmen were recalled in a special election today, the vote running approximately 4 to 3 against them.Alternate Link via ProQuest.
- "Councilman resigns, wants to go fishing". The San Bernardino County Sun. August 31, 1949. p. 14. Retrieved February 2, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
His resignation from the council was accepted yesterday after he said his business interests and 'a desire to make an occasional fishing trip' conflicted with his civic job.
- "District 20-30 convention set". The Los Angeles Times. June 10, 1944. p. 18. Retrieved December 4, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Club to observe Founders' Night: Past presidents of 20-30 to be guests". The San Bernardino County Sun. August 23, 1945. p. 11. Retrieved January 26, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
- Searl, Laura (June 9, 1986). "Big Boy's original Bob takes it easy in Newport". Orange County Register. Santa Ana, CA. pp. D1, D4. Retrieved April 23, 2020 – via newspaperarchive.com.
'And my kids were growing up before my eyes. I decided it was time to leave.'
- Hansen, Christian (2002). The Big Boy Story: King of Them All. Santa Barbara: Haagen Printing. pp. 130–131. ISBN 9780967194363.
- "Robert C. Wian, Restaurant Founder, 77". The New York Times. April 4, 1992.