BIRTHPLACE: New York, NY
BORN: July 21, 1919
DIED: June, 2000
TEAMS/ASSOCIATIONS: U.S. Olympic/National Teams, Minn. Amateur Hockey Association
Among those who have made Minnesota a leader in the sport of hockey throughout the United States stands the name of Bob Ridder. Ridder, a native New Yorker and Harvard University graduate, began his hockey involvement with the Duluth Heralds, a senior amateur team at the 1940s. This interest then led to a belief that a state organization for all levels of amateur hockey was essential in Minnesota. Thus, in October of 1947, he, along with fellow enshrinee Don Clark and Everett “Buck” Riley, founded the Minnesota Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA).
The organization, now simply called “Minnesota Hockey,” ranks as one of the leading amateur associations in the world, consistently producing among the most registered players in North America.
By 1952, Ridder’s interests had expanded to international hockey, and with Eveleth-born Connie Pleban, he managed the 1952 United States Olympic Team. Under his dynamic leadership the team was successfully organized and financed. In Olympic competition the United States made a very formidable showing, finishing in second place, just one game behind the eventual champions from Canada.
Ridder once again managed the 1956 U.S. entry, which was coached by United States Hockey Hall of Fame enshrinee John Mariucci. This team also won a silver medal with a well-deserved 4-1 victory over Canada as the highlight. When professional hockey came to Minnesota in 1966, Ridder became one of the North Star owners.
He later served as a United States Hockey Hall of Fame director, and remained active in promoting the game of hockey for both men and women throughout his life. An extremely successful businessman, Ridder was truly a man who made a difference in the world of hockey.