BOND, ROBERT L. (17 Jan. 1917-19 April 1990) spent his life in social work, and was a leader in the activities of Cleveland's neighborhood centers.
Bond was born in New York City, son of Sam and Rose Bellows Bond. Following schooling in NYC, he completed undergraduate work in history at the University of Michigan, before returning to NYC for his master's degree in adult education at Columbia University. As part of his graduate program, Bond became involved with a settlement house, and there he met his future wife, Anna Muelberger. They wed 1 March 1941, and raised three children: Lynne, Gary, and Brooks.
The settlement house experience determined Bond's future. After he returned from WORLD WAR II, during which he served in North Africa and Europe, the Bonds moved to Riverside, CA, where he and his wife established a settlement house for HISPANICS and AFRICAN AMERICANS. They moved to New Orleans for a year, before coming to Cleveland in 1951.
In Cleveland he first worked at the GOODRICH-GANNETT NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER. He then became the director of United Neighborhood Centers. In 1963 he secured a grant, and helped merge his organization and the Neighborhood Settlement Association into the GREATER CLEVELAND NEIGHBORHOOD CENTERS ASSOCIATION. He became that group's first executive director, helping it grow from 13 members to 25. When Bond retired in 1988, it was then the largest voluntary association of its kind in the U.S.
Bond was honored many times: In 1985 by Northeast Ohio Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration, in 1987 by United Neighborhood Centers of America, and in 1990 by Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.
In his retirement, Bond wrote a book about the settlement house experience, Focus on Neighborhoods. Bond was cremated, and his remains were not interred.