Robert Rucker came to work for the Bureau of Fisheries in 1936 and became an expert on fish pathologies. Rucker helped literally build the Western Fish Disease Laboratory as he oversaw construction of wet and dry labs and modern facilities to identify fish diseases and cures. An accomplished fisheries biologist both in the field and the lab, he was never more animated than when he discovered a new disease and field-tested a successful solution. Rucker’s thirty-seven years of work encompassed many of the environmental concerns of the day including DDT, sonic booms, and industrial toxins. Rucker’s legacy endures through his many students and the international reputation still enjoyed by the renamed Western Fisheries Research Center.