Bob DeFreitas, former publisher of Construction Equipment, passed away on Jan. 29. He was 85.
DeFreitas took over as publisher in 1968 and ran the magazine until his retirement in 1990. He is widely credited for bringing Construction Equipment into its current market-leading position. Mike Porcaro, DeFreitas' successor as publisher, told the Chicago Tribune, “Under Bob's leadership, the magazine's circulation skyrocketed and its advertising revenue soared. He made it what it is today.”
In the 1980s, De-Freitas spearheaded the magazine's “Rebuilding America” campaign for infrastructure renovation, highlighted by a personal meeting with President Ronald Reagan. The series won several major editorial awards.
DeFreitas served on the board of directors of the Construction Industry Manufacturers Association, the predecessor group of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. He served as treasurer and was promotion committee chair for the 1987 and 1993 Conexpo equipment expositions.