Bob Blackburn, a native Oklahoman, served as executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society from1999 till 2021. He joined the OHS in 1980 as editor of The Chronicles of Oklahoma and became deputy director for agency operations in 1990.

Blackburn is a 1973 graduate of Southwestern Oklahoma State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. He earned his M.A. & Ph.D. in history from Oklahoma State University. Blackburn grew up in Edmond and graduated from Putnam City High School in 1969.

Blackburn published several articles and his first book while still in graduate school and has since written or co-authored more than 20 books and numerous articles, journal entries, and screen plays. He is a steady source of historical information to the media and has appeared numerous times on The History Channel.

He was instrumental in planning and building the Oklahoma History Center, a 215,000-square-foot museum and research center. Blackburn has served on numerous national and regional boards and committees, including the Western History Association, the Oklahoma Association of Professional Historians, the AIA, and Leadership Oklahoma City.