Huffman, Robert O_GS.jpg

robert obediah huffman

Robert Obediah Huffman (b.1890 d.1978) the son of one of the founders of Drexel-Heritage Furnishings, joined his father at Drexel Knitting Mill directly after graduation from the University of North Carolina. Rob Huffman was chosen president of Phi Beta Kappa for his intellect and tapped for membership in The Golden Fleece for his demonstrated leadership. He became president of Drexel in 1935 and served until 1965. This was a period of growth and expansion as Drexel acquired Heritage Furniture, Morganton Furniture and Southern Desk. Sales grew from $7 million to about $29 million; profits grew from $230,700 to $1.8 million. Drexel became the nation's most highly recognized furniture brand name. Mr. Huffman credited Drexel's success to its employees, saying this esprit de corps was known as "Drexelitis."

He served as president of Drexel Knitting Mills and Huffman Hosiery Company, and as officer and director of several banks, companies and associations.

Sam J. Ervin, Jr., U.S. Senator from North Carolina, said in his introduction of Mr. Huffman to the Newcomen Society in 1963 ... "Rob Huffman is a man in whom a strong and honest mind, a compassionate and courageous heart, and a simple faith in God and man are blended in harmonious proportions. These attributes are exemplified in everything he thinks, says, or does. As a consequence, he is a genial companion, a true friend, a lover of his fellow man, an exemplary citizen, a devoted churchman, a dedicated free enterpriser, an enlightened industrialist, a hard fighter for causes he believes just, and withal a man of many graces, much humility, and a gentle spirit."