Bob Hermann was one of the founders of the NASL.

Pro soccer pioneer Bob Hermann, one of the founders of and owners in the original North American Soccer League and of which the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy is named after, has died.

He was 97.

Hermann passed away on April 5 in his St. Louis home with his family by his side. His death is not believed to be COVID-19 related.

Inducted in the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2001, Hermann helped created two soccer leagues in the modern age of professional soccer. He helped found and was chairman of the National Professional Soccer League in 1967. After a merger between the United Soccer Association and the NPSL, he helped establish the NASL in 1968 and owned the St. Louis Stars.

The MAC Hermann Trophy, which is college soccer’s version of the Heisman Trophy, is named after him. It is given annually to the best men’s and women’s soccer players.

The St. Louis University soccer stadium was named after Hermann in 1999 as Hermann was inducted into the St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame in 2012.

Beyond soccer, Hermann also forged reputation a prominent businessman, civic leader, and philanthropist.

During World War II, he served in the Navy in the Pacific and raised to the rank of lieutenant during the crucial final years of the war. He was honored with a Presidential Unit Citation among other battle stars, as part of ”the greatest generation.”

“In addition to his pride in his beautiful family, he may best be remembered by his friends as the consummate host and life of every party with his infectious laughter and a never-ending supply of good stories,” his obituary on the Lupton Chapel website said.

Hermann was predeceased by two wives, Lilly Busch Hermann, the daughter of August Anheuser “Gussie” Busch, Jr. (of the beer company), and Mary Lee Marshall Hermann. He is survived by two children, Carlota “Lotsie” Hermann Holton (Rick), and Robert R. Hermann, Jr. (Signa); four step-children, Robert, Lesley, Mark, and Stephen Scherer. Predeceased by daughter Christy Busch Hermann. He was known as “GoGo” (an apt name, giving his prodigious energy) by his grandchildren, Christy Holton Hubbard (Ezra), Richard Holton, Jr. (Kristen), Robert Holton (Katie), Lacey Hermann Petersen (Charlie), Merrill Hermann, Robert Hermann III, and his eight great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, friends and family have been asked to consider a donation to either:

Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Drive, St. Louis, MO 63110,

The MUNY, 1 Theatre Drive, St. Louis, MO 63112,

St. Louis ZOO, Government Drive, St. Louis, MO 63110.