Bob Daley is a former newspaper reporter, political insider, and 50-year member of the National Press Club. That means, even though he is “semi-retired,” he’s never happy unless he has a deadline to meet. He was on assignment, and on schedule, Wednesday, March 6 when he arrived at Community Blood Center (CBC) to make his milestone 200th lifetime blood donation.
Bob retired after 35 years with the Kettering Foundation where he was the director of public affairs and communications. He still works part-time for the Foundation, usually in the morning, so he schedules apheresis appointments in the afternoon. On the day of his 200th he had plans to watch his alma mater University of Dayton Flyers play basketball that night. He’s also a guest columnist with the Centerville-Washington Township Times (he lives in Washington Township) and would soon be off to Florida for baseball spring training, which he’ll use as the subject for his next column.
He remembers first donating in 1984 to help “replace” the blood his mother-in-law needed for hip surgery. He became an apheresis donor about five years ago simply because he didn’t feel he was managing his time well. “Whole blood, that’s about six and a half donations per year. I thought, ‘I’ll never make it!’” he said. “I found out that over here (in the automated donor area) I can give more often.”
He now fills any extra time in his schedule with blood donations. “It’s something I can do,” he explains. “It’s helpful, and I’m told my blood is especially helpful to babies (his blood is negative for the cytomegalovirus). It doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t cost you anything, and it’s a worthy cause.”
Bob started out as a copy boy in the sports department for the Dayton Journal-Herald when he was still at UD. After serving in the Army he came back to the Journal-Herald to cover politics and government and later worked in the paper’s Washington bureau.
He left reporting for politics in 1968 to serve as press secretary on John Gilligan’s failed U.S. Senate campaign. He stayed with Gilligan and was part of his staff when Gilligan was elected governor in 1970. He returned to Dayton in 1977 to work for the Kettering Foundation and raise his family.
“I still consider myself a journalist, rather than in public relations,” Daley said in a Dayton Daily News interview. “All I ever wanted to be and enjoyed so much was a reporter.” A reporter, and a blood donor.