Member Biography

Robert Raymond “Bob” Gerhart Jr.

Sessions Office Position District Party
1969       11 Democrat
1970       11 Democrat
1971       11 Democrat
1972       11 Democrat



12/21/1920 - 08/23/2021

Robert Raymond “Bob” Gerhart, Jr. (D11) Berks County 1969-1972 

Early Life: 

Robert Raymond “Bob” Gerhart, Jr., born December 21, 1920, Robesonia, Berks County, Pennsylvania; son of Robert R. Gerhart, Sr. and Mae Ruth Moyer Gerhart; Robesonia High School, 1937; Albright College, Reading, Pennsylvania, B.A. Communications, 1941; editor, Albright College campus weekly, The Albrightian, 1940; reporter, Reading Times, 1938-1948; married, Lillian S. Livinghouse, 1941 (d.2004) remarried, Joan Marie Turjoman Gerhart, three children; United States Army World War II, 1945-1946; elected, council, Robesonia, 1946-1956; publisher and editor, The New Era, Lancaster, 1948-1971; owner, Roberts and Company, public relations; director, public relations, city of Reading, 1958-1959; founder, Suburban TV Cable Company; owner and operator, Tahiti Motel, 1963-1966 and Diamond Beach Resort, 1966-1986, Wildwood, New Jersey; elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 1967-1968; elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1969-1972; gubernatorial appointee, executive director, Pennsylvania Higher Education Facilities Authority, State Public School Building Authority, 1972-1976; owner and operator, Playpen II, Cheers and The Oasis, nightclubs, Wildwood, New Jersey; died, August 23, 2021, Tucson, Pima County, Arizona; Celebration of Life Service, June 18,2022, Church of Christ, Robesonia, Pennsylvania. Cremated. Specifically: Interment next to his wife, Heidelberg Cemetery, Robesonia, Berks County, Pennsylvania.

Early Career:

United States Army World War II, 1945-1946. Founder public relations firm, Robert’s and Company; founder, Suburban TV Cable Company.

Owner/operator Tahiti Motel, Wildwood Crest, New Jersey, 1963; owner/operator of Diamond Beach, resort motel, Wildwood, New Jersey, which later became home to the rock club, The Playpen, which opened in 1979-1986 then sold. Interest expanded, 1980s and 1990s, when he became owner/operator of three more clubs, Playpen II, Cheers, and The Oasis, Wildwood, New Jersey.  He also owned a nightclub in Naples, Florida, and two entertainment centers in New York State.

Professional titles; business ownership; board memberships; local government; club memberships:

Member, American Newspaper Guild; member, AFL-CIO, member Reading-Berks Automotive Club; member, advisory council, Pennsylvania State University, Berks Campus; president, board of trustees, Wernersville State Hospital, 1955-1962; director, public relations, city of Reading, 1958-1959. 

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, president, Robesonia Borough Council, 1946-1956.

Campaign manager, United States Congressman George M. Rhodes, 1948-1968.

Elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 1967-1968.

Elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 11th district, Berks County, 1969-1972; committee assignments, chairman, Executive Nominations, vice chairman, Elections and Reappointment, Agriculture, Apportionment, Education, Finance, Highways, Rules, unsuccessful campaign for reelection, 1972.  

Appointee, Governor Milton J. Shapp, executive director, Pennsylvania Higher Education Facilities Authority, State Public School Building Authority, 1972-1976.

Pennsylvania House of Representatives Biography:

Official Website - PA House Archives Official Website (


Along with his wife, Lillian Gerhart, donated $1.5 million to Albright College to establish the Bob and Lillian Gerhart Chair in Communications.


Cox, Harold. "Senate Members "G""Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.

Brittingham, Jr., G. R., (Editor). Martz, Jr., R.H. (Associate Editor). (1970-1971). The Pennsylvania manual, 100. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, page 100 and 123-124.

Robert Gerhart Obituary (2021) - Reading, PA - Reading Eagle (

Published by Reading Eagle from August 24-August 29, 2021.

Robert Raymond “Bob” Gerhart Jr. (1920-2021) - Find a Grave Memorial