Robert F. Dorr, an author and former Foreign Service officer who wrote hundreds of books and newspaper and magazine articles on military aircraft, battles and history, died June 12 at a hospital in Falls Church, Va. He was 76.
The cause was a brain tumor, said a son, Robert P. Dorr.
From 1964 to 1989, Mr. Dorr was in the Foreign Service, mainly as a political officer, and his assignments included South Korea, Madagascar, Japan, Sweden, London and Liberia.
In retirement, he wrote books on topics ranging from World War II history to more recent military missions as well as novels and adventure stories. His 1991 volume about the Persian Gulf War, “Desert Shield: The Build-up: The Complete Story,” reportedly sold about 100,000 copies.
Mr. Dorr was a columnist for Air Force Times and other military publications and often was a “sympathetic voice for enlisted airmen,” said Kathleen Curthoys, a presentation editor at Military Times.
Robert Francis Dorr was born in Washington on Sept. 11, 1939. He grew up near Bolling Air Force Base and since childhood was fascinated by airplanes. With money he earned from a paper route, he bought an Underwood typewriter and began writing stories when he was 12.
As a student at Suitland High School in Prince George’s County, Md., Mr. Dorr began his writing career with an unsolicited article in Air Force Magazine arguing that bombers in the Strategic Air Command needed fighter aircraft escorts, the Air Force Times said in an obituary.
After high school graduation in 1957, Mr. Dorr served four years in the Air Force, stationed mostly in Korea. Having learned the language, he eavesdropped on North Korean communications. He later settled in San Francisco, attended the University of California at Berkeley and began writing adventure stories for pulp fiction magazines.
In 1968, he married Young Soon Cho, and they later settled in Oakton, Va.
Besides his wife, survivors include two sons, Robert P. Dorr of Arlington, Va., and Lawrence G. Dorr III of Trinity, Fla.; a brother; and three grandchildren.
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