Dr. Robert A. Behar House
Robert A. (Bob) Behar (pronounced BE-har), the son of Cuban refugees, enrolled in the College after his junior year of high school at the age of 16. Although Behar, LAB’81, AB’83, MD’87, MBA’11, has a Lab degree, he never attended. The College gave him a high school diploma after his first year. “Otherwise I would still be a high school dropout,” he says. Before moving to the Shoreland, Behar lived in Pierce Tower, where Campus North stands today.
He finished his undergraduate studies in three years and applied to UChicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. During his interview, the dean asked if he had grown a mustache to look older. (He had.) He was admitted at 19 after the dean checked with the Law School to make sure it was legal.
Behar did his internship in medicine at Northwestern University and his residency in radiation oncology at Stanford University, where he also served as chief resident and the American Cancer Society Fellow in Clinical Oncology. In 1993 he was recruited to start a cancer center in Houston, which he quickly grew into four cancer centers. Later he opened a general acute care hospital that rapidly grew into a large company: North Cypress Medical Center, in Cypress, Texas—of which Behar is chairman and CEO—employs 2,000 people and has $2 billion of gross revenues on five separate campuses.
Realizing he lacked formal business education, Behar decided to return to UChicago to earn an MBA. “For my entire life, I was always the youngest person in the class. When I got to Booth, I was one of the oldest,” Behar says. “But I still acted like one of the youngest. Youthful enthusiasm.”
A member of the College’s Visiting Committee, Behar has been a generous supporter of undergraduate career exploration and preparation programs.