Robert Owen Carr
Founder & Chairman | Give Something Back Foundation
Robert Owen Carr, an advocate and philanthropist for economically disadvantaged students, is the founder and chairman of the Give Something Back Foundation, which he leads from Princeton, New Jersey. The organization provides academic mentoring, social guidance and college scholarships for students from lower-income families throughout the nation.
Carr was the founder and former chief executive officer of Heartland Payment Systems, a Fortune 1000 debit- and credit-card transaction company recently acquired by Global Payments.
Carr, who grew up in a financially-strapped and troubled household in rural Illinois, established the Give Something Back Foundation as a gesture of gratitude for a $250 college scholarship he had received from the local Woman’s Club in his senior year at Lockport Township High School in 1963. Since its inception in 2003, the foundation has contributed more than $25 million for mentoring and scholarships.
Carr attended the University of Illinois, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in three years. In his fourth year at Illinois, he earned a master’s degree in computer science.
Currently, he serves on the boards of directors for MENTOR and Snider Hockey, and is a trustee at Lewis University in Illinois. Carr was appointed by President Obama to a key White House post on the National Infrastructure Advisory Committee.
He is the author of “Through the Fires: An American Story of Turbulence, Business Triumph and Giving Back,” which is distributed by the University of Illinois Press. His forthcoming book, “Working Class to College: The Promise and Peril of Blue Collar America,” is available now for pre-orders and will be officially released in March 2017.