Bob has served 12 years as a Tribal Council Member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. He graduated from Cherokee High School in 1956, received a BS Degree from North Carolina State University in 1960 and a MBA Degree from Western Carolina University in 1972. Bob operates several successful small businesses on the Reservation and is publisher of five books on Cherokee Genealogy. He is retired in the rank of Colonel with 30 years service in the United States Army Reserve. He is an Army paratrooper and served as a helicopter pilot with the 1st Cavalry Division Air mobile during the Vietnam War. He is the President of the Museum of the Cherokee Indians, and strongly advocates for the preservation of Cherokee Heritage and Culture. He is married to Laura Wolfe Blankenship. They have eight children and seventeen grandchildren. Bob’s Cherokee name is OO- GAH- NAST. Translated, means “Sweet Thing”.