Robert A. Hess was born in Detroit in 1930. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict and graduated from the Michigan State University and the Detroit College of Law. He was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan in 1961. Before moving to Roscommon, he worked as a real estate attorney for the Chrysler Corporation.
Robert married Shirley Unger in 1972 and began his law practice in Roscommon. He continued to practice up until the time of his death in 2008. He served as the Roscommon County Proscecuting Attorney from 1972 to 1975, and was also a Certified Court Mediator and Arbitrator. He was a former member and past president of the Roscommon Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. He was a member and past president of the Roscommon County Bar Association and the 34th Circuit Bar Association. He served for five years as the president of the Roscommon Metropolitan Park Authority.
The Robert A. Hess Memorial Scholarship is awarded as an annual freshman year Scholarship, presented to a graduating student from the Roscommon High School, interested in pursuing a degree in law and/or the legal field.