Hall of Fame | Honoree | HERBERT D. TOBIN


Frank I. Tobin and Sons

Herbert D. Tobin, retired, was formerly President of Frank I. Tobin and Sons, a family firm engaged in construction and development for over four generations. He holds a degree from Harvard University.

With a career spanning over 50 years, his contributions to the building industry are vast. In addition to building several thousand homes in New England and California, he has dedicated his career to improving the building industry and education for the building industry.

In 1937, he helped establish one of the first chapters of the Building Contractors Association in America. Currently, this organization is known as the National Association of home Builders.

He helped found the B.A. degree program in Real Property Development and Management at the University of Southern California in 1978. He is the author of a Graduate Degree Program called Master of Environmental, Construction and Development Management.

Mr. Tobin has written numerous articles on "No Growth and Urban Planning" which were published in the Trade Press and in national media. Herb drafted a team that raised several hundred thousands of dollars to finance three major industry/government studies, plus two private seminars, for judges on problems of Growth and No Growth.

In the late 1950's and early 1960's, he served three times as President of the Building Contractors Association of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties (now the Building Industry Association), and as President of the Residential Builders Council. He is a Lifetime Director of the Building Industry Association of Southern California, from which he received its highest honor, the Meritorious Award in 1974. He is also a Life Director of the California Building Industry Association and a Life Trustee of the California Building Industry Foundation. He is a Life Trustee of Chapman University, and a Life Trustee of the World Affairs Council in Orange County.

Mr. Tobin served as a Director of the Urban League in the mid-1950's and was a member of the Los Angeles Sheriff s Mounted Posse and a sworn reserve deputy for 25 years. He led the first major and successful civil rights defense of an African American in Orange County.

Herb is a member of the Committee on Continuing Education of the Harvard Alumni Association, the Executive Committee for the Kennedy School Institute for Middle East Social and Economic Policy, and the Board of the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance. He is also founder Chairman of the Board of Sponsors for the Ben Gurion University Center for Jewish/ Arab Understanding, an organization for which he orchestrated a drive that generated close to a million dollars in endowments.

As Chairman for major scholarship fund raising for the Harvard/Radcliffe Club of Southern California, Herb organized four stage shows which generated a quarter of a million dollars for young people from California. He is a long-time Director of the Advisory Committee of the Harvard/Radcliffe Club of Southern California, and in 1982 received the "Once Only" special Harvard Chair A ward.

​Herb lives in Newport Beach with his wife, Libby. They have one daughter, Anabel, and two grandsons, Kip and Kern.