Santa Clara Magazine is published in print for alumni and friends of the University. It is updated weekly on the web.
Robert McDonald, Nov. 15, 2008. A native of Reno, he attended SCU until he joined the Army Air Corps in 1941 as a second lieutenant. He was a member of the 54th Fighter Squadron that was sent to the Aleutian Islands in June of 1942, two days after Dutch Harbor was attacked by the Japanese. He flew a P-38 over Kiska on many missions, wrecking a couple of planes before he shot down a Zero in October 1942. As a major, he became a squadron commander in the 46th Squadron, where he flew P-51s off Iwo Jima. After World War II, he attended the University of Nevada, then the University of San Francisco Law School. He graduated in 1949, and became a member of the Nevada Bar Association that same year. He began his legal career as a deputy attorney general and later became a deputy U.S. attorney. In 1952, he entered private practice in Reno with Alan Bible, who became a U.S. senator in 1954. They remained partners until the U.S. Senate adopted rules prohibiting lawyer members from maintaining private law practices. He later formed McDonald Carano Wilson LLP and founded several of Northern Nevada’s most successful gaming companies and was a principal in the development of Incline Village. He was also a board member of Valley Bank of Nevada, an original partner of Boomtown and at the time of his death, part owner of Bonanza Casino. He was active in the Democratic National Committee and in his community, starting the Junior Ski Program, establishing a Pop Warner football program, as well as the Northern Nevada chapter of the National Association of Christians and Jews. He is survived by three children and 10 grandchildren.