W. Frank Roberts
W. Frank Roberts
Roberts, a chairman of the board of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, started out in business through the help of Charles M. Schwab, the Bethlehem Steel Co. magnate who trained him for an executive position in the company. Roberts came to Baltimore in 1918 as general manager of the Sparrows Point branch of Bethlehem Steel. He was active in civic life from his first years in Baltimore; heading the Baltimore Alliance of Social Charitable agencies, the predecessor of the Community Fund, from 1922 until 1925.
In 1928, Roberts left Bethlehem Steel to become president and chairman of the Standard Gas Equipment Corp. That same year he joined the board of trustees of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He held many civic posts during his lifetime, including serving as chairman of the Citizens’ Emergency Relief Commission in Baltimore, and chairman of the Maryland Public Works Campaign under Governor Albert Ritchie.
Under Governor Herbert O’Connor, he was chairman of the Maryland Council of Defense and Resources and of the State Committee on Wartime Transportation. In 1943, Roberts was honored by the Maryland General Assembly for his service in state defense.
During his tenure as a hospital trustee, Roberts’ foremost concern was the current and future financial stability of the institution. In 1935, he led the sustaining-fund campaign for the hospital. He was elected chairman of the board of trustees in 1948. In this post he made public appeals for community support for the hospital’s continued care for the poor. Roberts retired from the position of chairman in 1954 but remained a trustee until his death.