Mark - great tribute to Jack. I know I'm late with my remembrances, but would be remiss if I didn't add to what so many have rightfully noted as the passing of one of the industry's true legends. While some of us strived to be "editors," Jack was what we all really aspired to be -- a great reporter. I was in San Mateo grabbing Jack's scribbled notes off the fax machine in 1999 as he was working his way with his funny notebook around the Hsinchu Industrial Science Park. Later, Jack led me through Seoul and Tokyo during editorial field assignments as if he'd been raised in both cities. All Jack needed to gain access to the exeuctive suite at NEC Corp. was to let them know when he'd be in town, and the chairman of the board would be there with coffee and Jack's favorite pastries.
As his editor, we butted heads through what I refer to as the "Rambus Years" as Jack doggedly pursued a complex series of legal proceedings that had huge implications for the future of the global DRAM market. He was no friend of the copy desk, that's for sure, but he would always remark afterward something to the effect of - "Thanks, kid - you made me look good."
On a more personal note, I recall that when my dog died in 2004 that Jack -- always an animal lover -- remarked that one of God's biggest miscalculations was to make our live's so long and a dog's life so short. It was just the sort of thing you'd expect to hear from Jack.
Farewell my Friend. I'm honored to have known you.
Kevin, Thank you so much for your kind words. Thanks for the comments. I worked with Jack at EN and EBN. Now, I'm with (the dreaded) EE Times. So it goes. One must go with the flow in life. Sorry for any inaccuracies. I did my best under a wave of emotions. My wife (who knew Jack well) and I extend our condolences to you, your mother and the rest of your family. Thank you.
Mark, thank you for such a wonderful tribute!
It means a lot, especsially from the "dreaded EE Times." Thank you for all the wonderful comments, I guess, as his son, we remember the Earthquake story a little different (if your not 20 & single, please remember to comfort those who love you back home!!) & there is one inacuacy to this story in the personal, but bat as I stated on my persoanal FB page: "I'm not saying a word, it such... an honor to have the competition give such an accolade!" My dad would be a tad smug :-)
The well wishes of thoughts and prayers means a lot to the family. We've heard so many kind things as "he set the standard," but honestly the profession "mentor" means a lot more.
My father was pretty good at reporting impartially between the Japan & USA over access issue in '80's or Rambus in the 90's, there were areas in life outside his reporting he did choose to take a stand and make a difference. I guess those area of my dad's life are the areas he had the most impact one me.
Kevin (youngest son)
PS - My father did get some pretty cool assignments or he got them on his own. I guess the lesson of my dad was that ultimately faithful, maybe at time we wonder between career and family, but he never cheated on my mom, was a dad to us kids, he should have got a life time achievement Pulitzer for writing this two-bit piece for the cabinetry association trade publication for the same $35 a month since 1956 -- I think I want to emulate faithfulness, respect (above mentioned) and his humlity.
Mark: You did an awesome job writing about Jack's life and career. I have thought about Jack from time to time - and wondered what he was up to. There were very few people who really impressed me in the industry - Jack was at the top of the list. What impressed me most about Jack, was that he was so down to earth. When he came to EBN, he was already a legend - and I was just a little old reporter - still wet behind the ears - but Jack treated me with the utmost respect - like a lady and fellow journalist - and he never acted like he was better than anyone else - he was a very special person - they really don't make em like that anymore - RIP Jack - the world won't be the same without you in it - Bettyann
This is from Bruce Gain, a European correspondent: ''Jack Robertson was a great journalist and a great man as well. As a colleague at Semiconductor Business News, EBN, and The Semiconductor Reporter, he served as an inspiration--to put it mildly, he never blew with the wind nor caved into advertising pressures by letting the PR folks shape his copy. Amazing how little he slept--I once called him at 11:30 PM about a story and he was more than happy to dig into his famous hand-scribbled notes for some background info. he had (he was busy writing a story himself, but he wasn't even on deadline). He will be truly missed.''
Thanks for posting this. It's a wonderful tribute. Like others already mentioned, Jack was one of a kind. His hard-nosed, old-school reporter style certainly inspired me while I was at EBN. But, mostly I remember him as a wise and patient mentor, quick with joke and always willing to help me make sense of what was going on in the industry. I learned a lot from him, and consider myself lucky to have known him. He'll be missed. My deepest condolences to his family.
If my math is correct, at the age of 62, Jack got a new job with a major industry player. At the age of 67, he jumped on an airplane and headed into the middle of an earthquake disaster. And he did such things in an industry that at that time was in turmoil.
I didn't have the pleasure of meeting Mr. Robertson, but based on what I've read here, I think we could and should all look to his example for inspiration. We talk about the aging of the engineering population and how many of those aging engineers are being tossed aside for younger folks or for cost cutting.
Here's someone who could have accepted the twilight of his career, letting the new technology brush him aside. But he didn't. He seems to have attacked the world, in his 60's, with the same gusto that he did years prior. If we all did that, each and every one of us could add a decade or more to our productive career years (if we wanted to).
When we're young, we tend to plow through life as if it needs and wants us to do so. As we move past the time when we can be called "young", we tend to reverse that and we start to spend more time navigating and avoiding dangers. Here's a person who kept plowing through and contributing long past the point at which most people give up.
I have been an avid reader of electronics magazines news since 1968, and barely realize that 100% of the information I get from the electronic industry is supplied by the keen vision and persistent work of electronics journalists. Let me take this moment to congratulate you all and thank you for your important work.
Edgar C Hofmann, Brazil
I had the pleasure of getting to know jack during the 90's when we were both on EBN...Jack in Editorial and myself in Sales. He was a great reporter and an even better person.
He never ran out of patience, energy, commitment or professionalism.
I'll miss him,
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.