Bob Pickens

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameRobert James "Bob"•Pickens
Used nameBob•Pickens
Born2 February 1943 in Chicago, Illinois (USA)
Died12 April 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia (USA)
Measurements192 cm / 111 kg
AffiliationsWisconsin Badgers, Madison (USA)
NOC United States


In addition to wrestling Bob Pickens played football at the University of Wisconsin. He later transferred to the University of Nebraska, however, where in 1966 he was a third-round draft pick (44th overall) of the Chicago Bears and played tackle in the NFL from 1967-69. He then played one year in the Canadian league with the Edmonton Eskimos. As a senior at Nebraska, Pickens was runner-up in the NCAA heavyweight division wrestling. After his athletic career he stayed involved as a referee in the Big 10 from 1976-89, and officiating in the Rose Bowl, Peach Bowl, and Liberty Bowl.

Pickens began his business career as Director of Diversity and Minority Outreach at Foote, Cone and Belding, an advertising agency, but later worked as an executive for many years with Sears, where he became lead toy buyer and was National Sales Manager and a special assistant to the Chairman. Pickens left Sears to become owner and managing director of Rainbow Classics, a Hong Kong-based trading company dealing in toys and sundry items. He later formed Merrill Associates, a contract labor, janitorial and maintenance company. He served a long term on the Chicago Park District Board, retiring as Vice-President of the Board of Commissioners in December 2011. He has volunteered and served with numerous community and civic organizations. Pickens is a member of the History Makers Athletic Hall of Fame, the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame and the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1964 Summer Olympics Wrestling USA Bob Pickens
Heavyweight, Greco-Roman, Men (Olympic) 6

Special Notes