ROBERT REX LESTER
Year Inducted: 2009Robert Rex Lester was born in Cheyenne, Oklahoma, on February 18, 1911, to James Moses Lester and Nannie Mae Lester. He graduated from Cheyenne High School in 1930 and attended Panhandle A & M College in Goodwell. In 1937 Lester was a member of the first Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy. With time off for service in World War II and to attend the FBI Academy, he remained on the patrol until retired in 1958. Bob Lester served as a trooper, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, assistant chief, and acting chief. From 1958 to 1963 Robert Lester served as Norman's chief of police. In 1965 he returned to the Highway Patrol as commissioner of public safety—the first trooper ever to rise through the ranks to head the organization. Lester served as commissioner for three governors before leaving the patrol again in 1971. Mr. Lester then became director of security for Westinghouse Corporation.
Robert Lester's career from 1975 until his retirement in 1986 included chairman of the State Board of Public Affairs, senior administrative assistant to Governor George Nigh, director of the Alcohol Beverage Control Board and director of the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training. In 1984 Bob Lester was chosen as Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by the National Provost Committee de La Societe des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevauz (Fort and Eight). Robert Lester was an active member in a number of organizations and was a lifetime member of the Advisory Board of the Norman Salvation Army. His favorite pastimes included gardening, golf, and dancing. Robert "Bob" Lester has two daughters Loretta and Kathleen, two grandsons Michael Robert and David Scott Woodward, plus two great-grandsons Brandon Michael and Robert Woodward. Bob had four brothers— Merle, Max, Wendell, Clifford—and two sisters, Frankie and Ruth.