Born March 24, 1929, Robert Richard Dunn was a native of the community of Needmore, located near Troy. Robert was the second child of William and Bertha Dunn. Growing up on the family farm, he learned what would go on to be his motto “work-work-work”.
After graduating from high school he bought a peanut picker and began picking peanuts for other farmers. When other people would gather 7 to 8 tons of peanuts a day Robert would gather 9. The transition from peanut picker to contractor was very natural for Robert. After the peanut season, Robert would convert his stake body truck into a dump truck.
Robert’s first job as a subcontractor was hauling for Bennett Construction Company. This led to another job and to another which led to more and more trucks.
Robert obtained his general contractors license in February of 1956. He was awarded his first state contract as a prime contractor on June 6, 1956. The job was to construct 26 miles of base and paving through Covington County for $196,000. He was just 27 years old.
In the 1960’s Robert R. Dunn Construction flourished. As the interstate and highway programs expanded so did the company. In 1965 alone the company held over $11,000,000.00 in contracts with the Alabama Department of Transportation to construct interstates in six separate jobs running through Lee, Macon, Montgomery and Baldwin Counties. The company during this time employed as many as 500 employees a week.
Robert’s hard work was recognized by his peers and government officials during this time.
In 1963, he was appointed to be the Vice Chairman of the State of Alabama General Contractors Licensing Board by Governor George Wallace. He later would be the Chairman of The Board from April 1971 until March 1979. Robert also held a position on the Alabama Road Builders Association Board of Directors.
Robert’s empire continued to grow which lead to the formation of Robert R. Dunn, Inc.; Needmore Construction Company; Dunn & Carmichael, Inc.; Dunn Enterprise, Inc. and the building construction firm of Walters & Brown, Inc.
Dunn Enterprise, Inc. was sold to White Construction Company in 1975. Robert remained active in the construction industry through Dunn & Carmichael and Robert R. Dunn, Inc. for several more years.
After his retirement from the road construction industry, Robert returned to his roots, although this time it was in a much larger way.
He built a feed lot and owned up to 2,500 head of cattle at one time. His farm land encompassed over 3,000 acres of land with several large ponds. This was his love and passion till his death on February 28, 1997.