Here is the article in the Dallas News honoring Mr. Robert Wilson.
Bob Wilson misses his own KERA party
An undisclosed illness caused former KERA-TV chief executive Robert A. “Bob” Wilson to be hospitalized during the weekend. Consequently, he was not present for the downpour of accolades he received Tuesday night at the 50th anniversary gala for the Dallas public TV station, held at the Wyly Theatre in the Arts District.
David McCullough, Cokie Roberts, Jim Lehrer, Krys Boyd, Lee Cullum and Bob Ray Sanders were among the luminaries on hand to salute Wilson and his mentor, the late Dallas industrialist and former KERA chairman Ralph Rogers.
“He’s feeling much better today,” said his famous middle son, actor Owen Wilson, who attended with his kid brother, Luke Wilson, and their mom, photographer Laura Wilson.
Owen told of his recent meeting with acclaimed director Terry Gilliam, a former member of the Monty Python troupe. According to Owen, Gilliam told him: “We have something in common. Neither of us would be here without Bob Wilson.” As head of KERA, Bob gave the green light for the Dallas station to be the first American outlet to broadcast the controversial Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
“I am one of the people in the room who can say I wouldn’t be here without Bobby Wilson,” added Lehrer, who was a Dallas newspaper reporter when Wilson recruited him for his first TV gig, as the host of Newsroom.
Sitting adjacent to the Wilson table were the four sons of Ralph Rogers: Bob Rogers, Jack Rogers, di*k Rogers and Bill Rogers, who got to see Watergate-era clips of their dad going before Congress to rescue PBS. “Without Ralph Rogers, PBS would have died an early death,” Sanders said.
Audience members, including Ross Perot, Ruth Altshuler and Caren Prothro, learned that public TV wasn’t the only thing on in the Wilson house. “One time, Dad came home to see us watching Gilligan’s Island one too many times,” Owen said. “He removed the television for two years, which was unusual for a TV executive.”