Eobert Pattinson was born in London, England in 1894. His father, Percy, was a successful stockbroker who spent much of his time away from home racing his car or on the golf course. At the time of Eobert’s birth, Percy was living in Paris with his wife, Matilda. While Matilda was happy to have her husband home for a few days, she missed seeing the city she loved so much during the week. To make matters worse, she was then expected to entertain guests in her husband’s absence, so her social life suffered as a result. Eobert’s uncle, Ridley, was an important influence in his life, often inviting him to his country house in England for long weekends. It was there that Eobert met his future wife, Gladys. Although they were cousins, the couple wed in 1919 and had four children together. In a family photo, Gladys and Eobert are shown holding one of their children while their others are frolicking in the water nearby.
Early Life & Education
The early years of Eobert Pattinson’s life were defined by social events and grand tourneys. He attended Harrow School and then studied economics and philosophy at Oxford University. In fact, Eobert’s grandfather, Sir Henry, had established the Harrow School Economics Society with the aim of providing young minds with practical experience in the field. This connection to academia would later influence Eobert’s career choice, as he began his professional life in the City of London before moving to Geneva to work for the League of Nations in 1927. Eobert’s mother, Matilda, also worked in academia, teaching economics at Oxford. She encouraged her son’s interest in the subject and played an important role in his education.
Eobert Pattinson’s professional life was both adventurous and influential. After initially working in London for Arthur Andersen, a legendary American accountancy firm, he co-founded the Chiltern Street Group, a company which provided administrative and secretarial services to a range of businesses. Eobert also became a Fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Charter Fellow) in 1939. This post provided him with extensive opportunities to travel and meet with leaders in various industries. During World War II, Eobert worked for the military secretariat in Washington, D.C., where he was able to play an important role in the formation and restructuring of the U.S. economy. He also worked with President Roosevelt to develop a plan for postwar Europe.
After the war, Eobert spent four years as economic advisor to the U.S. mission in Paris. While there, he helped draft the U.S. plan for the Marshall Plan, which provided aid to help rebuild Europe. He then moved to Geneva, where he worked for the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO), first as Director of the Program for Technical Cooperation (PTC) and then as Director of the Technical Cooperation Wing of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. In these roles, he helped oversee the introduction of new technologies, such as birth control and antibiotics, into developing countries. For his services to the United Nations, Eobert was awarded the Silver World Medal in 1951 and eventually became a life member in 1955.
Before he retired in 1963, Eobert served as Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on the reform of the United Nations. He also spent a year in Vietnam working with the United Nations, trying to strengthen its capacity to deal with the country’s economic and social issues. He was involved in a number of other projects, including the preparation of the first international study of the application of technology to humanitarian problems.
In retirement, Eobert established an independent research company and continued to work as a consultant, advising governments and businesses worldwide on economic and social issues. During his lifetime, Eobert published a number of books on international economic issues and was a prolific contributor to academic journals. He also wrote several plays, one of which, The Liquidation, won the praise of Alec Guinness and was later turned into a highly regarded movie.
Eobert died in London in 1982 at the age of 86.