Robert A. Altman

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For other people with the same name, see Robert Altman (disambiguation).
Robert A. Altman
Nationality United States
Known for Chairman and CEO of ZeniMax Media
Spouse(s) Lynda Carter (m. 1984)
Children James and Jessica Altman
Parent(s) Sophie Robinson
Norman Altman

Robert A. Altman is the current 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 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 leading real estate lawyer and investor, and the founder of the Wash DC law firm Krooth and Altman. Sophie Altman, a graduate of Yale Law School, was a pioneer in television broadcasting, and a multiple Emmy award winning producer. Among the television shows Sophie produced is the acclaimed high school educational program, It's Academic, the longest running quiz show in history, now in its 54th year. Robert is one of 4 children.[2]


Altman is a lawyer who practiced for many years in Washington DC as a partner of Clark Clifford, former United States Secretary of Defense and long–time Democratic Presidential advisor, 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 was involved in a number of high profile cases, primarily representing Fortune 500 companies before federal regulatory agencies, Congress and in litigation.

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, renamed First American Corporation.

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.[3] During the ensuing investigations, Altman and Clifford testified at length before Congress, federal and state grand juries, and the Federal Reserve, never invoking their rights under the Fifth Amendment. 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 honestly, successfully, and 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 an elderly man in poor health, had to be severed from the case as he was physically unable to go to trial. Altman maintained his complete innocence, refused repeated government offers for a plea to resolve the cases, and insisted on going to trial. In the summer of 1993, after 5 months of trial in New York that the prosecution took to present its case, 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 he was fully acquitted by the jury of all remaining charges.[4] The Department of Justice dismissed the companion federal indictment, and the civil suit by the Federal Reserve was settled,[5] when Altman did agree to be banned permanently from banking.[6]

Altman resumed his Washington legal practice after the trial and continued his successful legal career until 1999. In May 1999, Altman founded ZeniMax Media,[7] a leading video game publisher, which creates and publishes interactive entertainment content for the PC/MAC, game consoles and mobile devices. Altman serves as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of ZeniMax, a privately held company that operates globally with offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. The ZeniMax group includes some of the most acclaimed game development studios in the world, and its library of intellectual properties includes some of the industry’s most significant franchises including The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Dishonored, DOOM, QUAKE, Wolfenstein, and RAGE.[8]

Political connections[edit]

Altman is known for having several former high level members of the Democratic Party of his acquaintance including Former Democratic National Committee Chairman and Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe, Former United States House of Representatives Majority Whip Tony Coelho, and Former Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell of Maine.[9] In 2007 he endorsed Barack Obama for president.

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 currently reside in Potomac, Maryland, near Washington, D.C.


  1. ^
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ Follow TIME Facebook Twitter Google + Tumblr (1993-08-30). "Innocent As Charged". TIME. Retrieved 2012-03-14. 
  4. ^ "Politics News". 1992-07-30. Retrieved 2012-03-14. 
  5. ^ Truell, Peter (1998-02-04). "Clifford and Altman Settle With Fed Over B.C.C.I.". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-03-14. 
  6. ^ Truell, Peter (1998-02-04). "Clifford and Altman Settle With Fed Over B.C.C.I.". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-03-14. 
  7. ^ "Executive Profile Robert A. Altman". Bloomberg Businessweek. 27 January 2016. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Musgrove, Mike (2005-08-15). "Out of the Dark and Into the Spotlight". The Washington Post. 

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