Robert A. Altman

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Robert A. Altman
Born1947 (age 72–73)
Lynda Carter (m. 1984)

Robert A. Altman (born 1947) is the Chairman and CEO of ZeniMax Media, parent company of publisher Bethesda Softworks, LLC. Altman also serves on the Advisory Board of The George Washington University Law School.[1]


Early life[edit]

Robert was born to a Jewish family[2][3] in 1947. He is the son of Norman Altman and Sophie Altman. Norman Altman, a graduate of Harvard Law School, who died in 1997, was a real estate lawyer and investor, and founded the Washington, DC law firm Krooth and Altman.[citation needed] Sophie Altman, a graduate of Yale Law School, worked in television broadcasting, and was a multiple Emmy award-winning producer. Among the television shows Sophie produced was the high school educational program, It's Academic, now in its 56th year. Robert is one of 4 children.[4][5]

Law office[edit]

Altman practiced law for many years in Washington DC as a partner of Clark Clifford, former United States Secretary of Defense, in the law firm of Clifford and Warnke. Altman later opened his own law firm, the Law Offices of Robert Altman, where Clifford was of counsel. As a Washington lawyer, Altman represented major companies before federal regulatory agencies, before Congress, or in litigation.[6]

From 1978-82, Altman and Clifford represented a group of wealthy Arab businessmen, including members of the royal family from Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, in their efforts to acquire a multi-state bank holding company, Financial General Bankshares. The Arab investors used a British bank, Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), as their financial advisor in this transaction. Following the acquisition, Altman became President of Financial General, which was renamed First American Corporation.[6][7]

In 1980, he was the lawyer of Bert Lance, Jimmy Carter's adviser, during his trial regarding the financial management of the Calhoun First National Bank.[7]

ZeniMax Media[edit]

Altman resumed his Washington legal practice after the trial. In May 1999, he cofounded ZeniMax Media with Bethesda Softworks founder Christopher Weaver, as a new parent company for Bethesda.[8][9] Altman was brought in as CEO, with Weaver serving as CTO.[10] Weaver was pushed out of an operational role in 2002, and filed a related lawsuit that was settled out of court.

Active board members include Jerry Bruckheimer, Cal Ripken Jr. and Robert S. Trump.[11]

Personal life[edit]

On January 29, 1984, Robert married former Wonder Woman actress Lynda Carter. Together they have two children, James and Jessica Altman. They live in Potomac, Maryland.[12]

In 2015, both Robert and his wife Lynda Carter endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.[13]

BCCI trial[edit]

In 1991, it was alleged that BCCI, the financial adviser to the Arab shareholders and their “communications link”, had acquired by means of offshore loans that were in default, the shares of the Arab investors in First American. Questions were raised whether the Arab investors had falsely represented to bank regulators the true ownership of First American.[14] During the ensuing investigations, Altman and Clifford testified at length before Congress, federal and state grand juries, and the Federal Reserve. Audits of First American by the Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller, and state banking agencies confirmed that the bank had been operated under Altman's management without any BCCI influence.

In 1992, Clifford and Altman were charged in indictments by the New York District Attorney and the Department of Justice, as well as being named in a civil suit by the Federal Reserve. Clifford, then in poor health, was severed from the case as he was physically unable to go to trial. Altman maintained his innocence, refused offers of a plea to resolve the cases, and insisted on going to trial. In the summer of 1993, after a five-month trial, the court dismissed the central count in the indictment of bribery, saying no evidence had been presented by the government to support it. Altman declined to present a defense case, and was acquitted by the jury of all remaining charges.[15] The Department of Justice dismissed the companion federal indictment. The civil suit by the Federal Reserve was settled,[16] with Altman agreeing to be banned permanently from banking.[16] He was defended by a famous white-collar criminal defense lawyer Gustave Newman.[17]


  • The Upper Division College, 1970


  1. ^ "Dean's Board of Advisors". May 8, 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  2. ^ Metro Weekly: "World Wonder: "Lynda Carter talks about her new album, her upcoming show at the Kennedy Center and the importance of gay rights" Interview by Sean Bugg June 3, 2009 |"I’m married to a Jewish man, I bar and bat mitzvahed my children, I was raised Catholic, my father is a Mormon, my sister is an Evangelical"
  3. ^ Interfaith Family: "Interfaith Celebrities: The Summer's First Blockbuster" By Nate Bloom April 28, 2009
  4. ^ Kurtz, Howard (October 26, 1991). "Sophie Altman, Sticking Up for Her Son". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  5. ^ Martin, Douglas (May 29, 2008). "Sophie B. Altman, Who Started Quiz Show in 1961, Dies at 95". The New York Times. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Lewis, Neil A. (1991-09-03). "A Friendship, a Washington Bank and a Trail of Money Leading to B.C.C.I.; Clifford and Altman, Mentor and Protege, At Center of Inquiry". The New York Times.
  7. ^ a b (in Spanish) Biografia de Robert A. Altman,
  8. ^ "Executive Profile Robert A. Altman". Bloomberg Businessweek. 27 January 2016. Archived from the original on February 1, 2016.
  9. ^ "Gamers at Work: Stories Behind The Games People Play". Morgan Ramsay. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  10. ^ "Bethesda: The Right Direction". The Escapist. Retrieved 2017-03-13.
  11. ^ Todd Spangler, Leslie Moonves Quietly Exits AFI and Paley Center Boards,, 13 December 2018
  12. ^ Lynda Carter recalls marriage to Ron Samuels: 'He was a lot older, and I was just stupid', Usatoday.com31 April 2018
  13. ^ Price, Lydia (May 8, 2015). "Wonder Woman Lynda Carter Wants You to Vote for Her Friend Hillary Clinton". People. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  14. ^ S.C. Gwynne (1993-08-30). "Innocent As Charged". TIME. Retrieved 2012-03-14.
  15. ^ "Politics News". Washington Post. 1992-07-30. Retrieved 2012-03-14.
  16. ^ a b Truell, Peter (1998-02-04). "Clifford and Altman Settle With Fed Over B.C.C.I." New York Times. Retrieved 2012-03-14.
  17. ^ Sam Roberts, Gustave Newman, Defense Lawyer in Sensational Cases, Dies at 90,, 4 May 2017

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