Interview with Bob Irvin, August 12, 2019

Collection: Two-Party Georgia Oral History Project

Dublin Core


Robert A. (Bob) Irvin was born on September 9, 1948 and grew up in North Fulton County. He attended Roswell High School and graduated from the Lovett School in Atlanta. Irvin earned a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and a J.D. from the Emory University School of Law. Irvin, a Republican, won a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives representing Roswell, Alpharetta, and Sandy Springs in 1972. Between 1973 and 1978, Irvin was an attorney in the firm of Lipshutz, Macey, Zusmann, and Sikes in Atlanta. He declined to seek reelection in 1978. Irvin attended the Harvard Business School and earned an MBA in 1980. He returned to Atlanta and joined McKinsey & Company eventually becoming partner and head of the firm’s North American electricity practice. He won a special election to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1993. Irvin became House Minority Leader in 1994 and served in that position until 2000. He ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2002. Between 2003 and 2018, Irvin was managing director with Bridge Strategy Group/Houlihan Lokey. He is currently an independent consultant and writer. Irvin and his wife, Lynn, reside in Atlanta.

Irvin outlines his background, upbringing, and early interest in Republican politics dating back to the 1960s. He talks about his first stint in the Georgia House of Representatives during the 1970s, including assessments of Speaker George L. Smith II and Speaker Thomas B. Murphy. Irvin recalls the time Charles, Prince of Wales spoke to a session of the General Assembly in 1977. He speaks about returning to Georgia and Republican politics. Irvin discusses his second stint in the Georgia House of Representatives as well as policy and party-building initiatives he spearheaded as House Minority Leader between 1994 until 2000. He recalls his positions on issues important in the 1990s including crime, traffic, development, and welfare reform. The interview closes with Irvin’s thoughts on redistricting and how it might impact Georgia politics in the future.






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Bob Irvin and Ashton Ellett, “Interview with Bob Irvin, August 12, 2019,” UGA Special Collections Libraries Oral Histories, accessed May 25, 2024,