In Memoriam: Former Colorado Springs Mayor Isaac, USCM President 1990-1991, Passed Away May 2
West Point Graduate, Served Colorado City for Nearly Two Decades
By Guy F. Smith
May 19, 2008
Robert M. Isaac, 80, mayor of Colorado Springs (CO) from April 1979 to January 1997 and President of The U.S. Conference of Mayors 1990 to 1991 passed away May 2. News of his death was conveyed by Colorado Springs Mayor Lionel Rivera in a letter to Conference President Trenton Mayor Douglas H. Palmer.
Rivera noted that Isaac was a strong opponent of federal mandates at local expense, and focused on providing basic government services and big-ticket public works projects.
Isaac led the fight for a new airport in the early 1980s when many people questioned why the city needed a new facility, Rivera noted. Two years after opening, the airport surpassed all expectations. Isaac also pushed local road projects and public investments aimed at fostering economic prosperity, such as his 8,000 seat Colorado Springs World Arena project.
Isaac was born January 27, 1928. His father, Al, a Lebanese immigrant, came to Colorado Springs from upper Michigan.
Isaac attended high school in Colorado Springs and went on to West Point’s U.S. Military Academy and, after a stint in the military, graduated from the University of Southern California Law School and returned to his city. He then became a lawyer, assistant city attorney and then the presiding judge of the municipal court. In 1975, he was elected to a four-year term on the city council and became mayor in 1979.
The Colorado Springs Gazette described Isaac as a fiscally conservative Republican, but usually sought more money for government when it was for key pieces of infrastructure to serve a growing community.
Conference of Mayors Executive Director and CEO Tom Cochran said that Isaac was a true friend to the Conference staff and believed in us – a graduate of West Point, one of the best legal minds in our history, a conservative politician who was always there to fight and defend during some challenging times during his Presidency.
“Isaac had a sense of humor, and his respect, kindness and caring about our Conference staff was strong and is remembered at this time,” Cochran said.