Waldrop was a native of Parrish in Walker County, where his father served as mayor. His first job, at the age of 12, was in a drugstore in Parrish. After graduating from high school in 1932, he attended Alabama Polytechnic Institute for a year before transferring to Howard College. He moved to Homewood with his wife, Louise, in 1941. Around 1943, he suspended his studies at Howard to enlist in the U.S. Army during World War II. When he returned, he completed his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy.
Waldrop spent 15 years as a pharmacist, followed by 18 years as an insurance agent for Liberty National Insurance Company. During this time, he became president of the Lions Club and a member of the library board. In 1968, at the urging of fellow Homewood citizens concerned about the number of small companies which had left the town, Waldrop ran for mayor. If elected, he planned to serve a single four-year term. In the end, he served six terms (24 years) as Homewood's mayor.
Homewood saw much growth during Waldrop's time as mayor. One of Waldrop's early projects as mayor was the establishment of Homewood City Schools in the early 1970s. In 1976, the school system honored him by naming the high school stadium Robert G. Waldrop Stadium. Also during his terms, 100 acres of land for city parks was added, three community swimming pools built, and the commercial area along Green Springs Highway was annexed.
In 1969, Waldrop helped found the Jefferson County Mayor’s Association and served as its president from 1972 to 1974. He was also active in the Alabama League of Municipalities, serving as president for a one-year term starting in 1976, followed by 15 years on the League's board. Waldrop's last term as mayor ended October 5, 1992.
Waldrop returned to the insurance business after his 24 years as mayor. He died on September 9, 1995 at 81 after an illness. Homewood and some other Jefferson County municipalities flew their flags at half-staff on September 12 in his honor.
E. G. Walker
|Mayor of Homewood
- "Former Homewood, AL, Mayor Robert Waldrop." (September 21, 1995.) Congressional Record, vol. 141, no. 148.
- "Area flags to be lowered in memory of Waldrop." (September 12, 1995.) The Birmingham News.
- Summe, Sheryl Spradling. (2001). Homewood: The Life of a City. Homewood, AL: Friends of the Homewood Public Library.