Robert Bruss, Real Estate Columnist, Dies at 67


Robert Bruss, a nationally syndicated real estate columnist, author and investment advisor, has died at his Silicon Valley home. He was 67.

Bruss — known by peers as the ”Dear Abby of Real Estate” — suffered from intestinal problems and had surgery earlier this year, but the cause of death remains unclear, Jessica Swesey, editorial and content director for Inman News, which syndicated his work, said Thursday.

For 23 years, Bruss wrote seven columns a week. After a brief hiatus earlier this year, he resumed his busy schedule until his death Wednesday in Burlingame, Calif., Swesey said.

”Over the years, he helped so many people sort out their various buying and selling questions and was an amazing resource of independent information,” Swesey said. “He was the most prolific writer I’ve ever known, and the entire Inman News team will miss him dearly.”

Bruss’ articles — including the popular ”Real Estate Mailbag” question-and-answer column — were syndicated in hundreds of newspapers nationwide and on numerous websites.

Bruss had an undergraduate business degree from Northwestern University and a law degree from the University of California’s Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. He published monthly newsletters on real estate law and investing issues and wrote several books, including The Smart Investor’s Guide to Real Estate.

Bruss, who was never married and had no children, owned numerous properties, including rental homes, apartments and commercial buildings. His hobby was renovating ramshackle ”fixer uppers” in the expensive San Francisco Bay Area.

Real estate professionals from around the country mourned his death. The Minneapolis native, who moved to California in the 1960s, was former director of the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

”My jaw literally dropped when I read of the passing of Robert Bruss. I looked forward to his writings and opinions regularly in Inman News,” agent Bob Burkhard of Columbia, Md., wrote on the Inman Web site dedicated to Bruss. “I didn’t know him, but I felt like I knew him after reading him for so long. I am saddened, and I will miss him.”

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