R. Douglas Stuart Jr.

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Robert Douglas Stuart Jr.
A headshot of Robert Douglas Stuart Jr. while he was the United States Ambassador to Norway
United States Ambassador to Norway
In office
September 18, 1984 – July 17, 1989
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Mark Evans Austad
Succeeded by Loret Miller Ruppe
Personal details
Born (1916-04-26)April 26, 1916
Winnetka, Illinois
Died May 8, 2014(2014-05-08) (aged 98)
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Barbara Edwards
Children Four
Alma mater Princeton University (B.A.)
Yale Law School (J.D.)

Robert Douglas Stuart Jr. (April 26, 1916 – May 8, 2014), referred to as R. Douglas Stuart Jr. when young and as Robert D. Stuart Jr. when older, was the son of Quaker Oats Company co-founder Robert Douglas Stuart, the founder of the America First Committee in 1940, the CEO of Quaker Oats from 1966 to 1981, and United States Ambassador to Norway from 1984 to 1989.

Early life[edit]

Stuart was born in Winnetka, Illinois on April 26, 1916, the son of R. Douglas Stuart. His grandfather, Robert Stuart was one of the founders of the Quaker Oats Company. He was educated at Princeton University, graduating with a B.A. in 1937. He then attended Yale Law School.

America First[edit]

On September 4, 1940, while a law student, Stuart organized the America First Committee to support the enforcement of the Neutrality Acts of 1930s and to oppose United States intervention in World War II. Other students who joined Stuart's committee included Gerald Ford, Sargent Shriver, and Potter Stewart. The America First Committee asked Robert E. Wood, chairman of Sears, Roebuck and Company, to become its leader.[1] They later asked Charles Lindbergh to serve as their spokesman.

At its height, the America First Committee may have had as many as 800,000 members in 650 chapters. It was disbanded shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan, on December 7, 1941.

Army service[edit]

Stuart served in the US Army during World War II, attaining the rank of major.[2] After the war, he returned to Yale Law School and received his J.D. in 1946.


Stuart joined the Quaker Oats Company, where he would work for 38 years. He was chief executive officer of the company from 1966 to 1981, first as president and later as chairman of the board.

Stuart's time as CEO was notable for diversifying the company, most notably in 1969, when the Quaker Oats Company acquired toy manufacturer Fisher-Price. During his time as CEO, revenues grew from $500 million to $2 billion.

In addition to running Quaker Oats, Stuart sat on the boards of directors of the First National Bank of Chicago, United Airlines, Deere & Company, and Molson.

Stuart was active in the Republican Party.

From 1964 to 1972, he was the Illinois Republican Party member on the Republican National Committee.

He was also active in the Boy Scouts of America and the Chicago Urban League.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan named Stuart as United States Ambassador to Norway. Stuart presented his credentials on October 16, 1984 and served as ambassador until July 17, 1989.

Stuart was a member of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission in 1991 and 1993. He was appointed to the 1991 commission by President George H. W. Bush and the 1993 commission by President Bill Clinton.

He served on the Board of the National Commission on the Public Service, which was chaired by Paul Volcker, which produced the Volcker Report in 2003.


Stuart died of a heart attack while he was traveling back to the United States from France, at the age of 98, on May 8, 2014.[3]


  1. ^ Megan, Graydon (May 14, 2014). "Robert D. Stuart Jr., former CEO of Quaker Oats, dies". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 23, 2016. 
  2. ^ Weber, Bruce (May 20, 2014). "Robert Stuart Jr., 98, Quaker Oats Chief and War Foe in 1940, Dies". New York Times. Retrieved February 23, 2016. 
  3. ^ Arnold, Lawrence (May 12, 2014). "Robert D. Stuart Jr., Quaker Oats chief and founder of America First, dies at 98". Washington Post. Retrieved February 23, 2016. 
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Mark Evans Austad
United States Ambassador to Norway
October 16, 1984 – July 17, 1989
Succeeded by
Loret Miller Ruppe