Robert "Bobby" L. Ott, Sr , moved to Raleigh from Charlottesville, VA, as a teenager. His family lived on Park Drive off St. Mary's Street. He was a 1942 graduate of Needham B. Broughton High School and served as a flight officer in the US Army Air Corps flying the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt during World War II. Following the war, Bobby graduated from Wake Forest College. He married Ruth Kost in 1946 and worked as Chief Operating Officer of McCallum Wholesale Floral Service in Raleigh for the remainder of his life.
Bobby was seldom seen without a camera within reach. He spent countless hours documenting life and events in and around Raleigh from the 1950s to the early 1990s. Bobby always had a smile and a story to go with the thousands of photographs he took documenting the development of Raleigh in the post-war years. Family and friends joke that he has at least one photo of every structure in Raleigh.
Bobby's life was cut tragically short by cancer in 1993. His two sons, Lee and Bill live in the Raleigh area and keep his memory alive.