Robert Wharton III

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Robert Hewitt "Sonny Bob" Wharton III (born June 10, 1915 in Birmingham; died October 10, 2009 in St Petersburg, Florida) was an executive for Delta Air Lines.

Wharton attended Birmingham University School and graduated from Cumberland School of Law. He worked briefly at an insurance agency before joining Delta in Birmingham in 1936. He was transferred to Delta's headquarters in Monroe, Louisiana and then moved with it to Atlanta, Georgia in the 1940s, where he was promoted to Director of Personnel.

In March 1945 Wharton married former Delta stewardess and Army nurse Dorothy Upshaw Swann. They had three children: Nancy, Robert IV and Phillip Leslie (Les). When Delta merged with Chicago & Southern in 1953, Wharton was made an assistant vice-president of personnel. He retired from the airline after coordinating personnel policies in the company's merger with Northeast in 1973. He and Dot moved to St Simons Island where he worked as a starter for the Sea Island Golf Course through 2004.

Wharton died in 2009 and was survived by his three children, 8 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. He is interred at Christ Church Cemetery on St Simons Island.


  • "Robert Hewitt Wharton III" obituary (October 15, 2009) Atlanta Journal-Constitution