PODCAST: Bobby Mincer (1935-2012)

Posted on Oct 22, 2012

I learned today that my good friend Bobby Mincer passed away early this morning.

He died at his home here in Charlottesville about 1:30a, after a long battle with leukemia. His family was by his side.

Bob was born October 14, 1935 in Asheville, NC. His father founded Mincer’s Humidor, later Mincer’s Pipe Shop, on the UVA Corner on July 19, 1948.

The shop was originally located in a cramped space that is now the kitchen for Littlejohn’s Deli. “I had to stand on a Co-Cola crate to see over the counter,” Bobby remembered. “I was twelve-years old.”

After some time in the service, Bob went to work in his family’s Charlottesville store in 1960 and continued to work there until his retirement in 2000. He became known affectionately around town as “The Mayor” of the UVA Corner.

The pipe shop has since become Mincer’s UVA Sportswear and is a true Charlottesville tradition, familiar to generations of students, faculty, and townspeople.

He is shown here in a 1997 photograph with his son Mark, the third-generation Mincer on the Corner. Bob Mincer was a kind man, always quick with a joke and a laugh. His generosity touched thousands of lives.

Back in the mid-90s when I had an idea to write a book about the history of the Corner, he was the first person to say “I’ll be happy to help any way I can.” He was also the very first person I interviewed for the book.

And I’ll never forget the day of my first book signing— at Mincer’s on the UVA Corner— with Bob standing proudly nearby.

I can’t thank you enough Bob, for everything you did for me and for so many others. Charlottesville is a better place because of you. Thank you.


In the summer of 2008, I welcomed Bob Mincer on my radio program to mark the 60th anniversary of Mincer’s. In this classic podcast he shares the story of his family’s move to Charlottesville after World War Two and some of his favorite memories of a lifetime on the Corner.


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