Robert Elliot Nederlander, Sr. is an attorney and former president of the Nederlander Organization, which has been involved in the live theatre industry since the early 20th century. He is also the former managing general partner of the New York Yankees. He served in this role during the suspension of George Steinbrenner.
Nederlander was born in Detroit, Michigan, the youngest of six children born to Sarah (née Applebaum) and David T. "D.T." Nederlander. His father bought his first live theater in 1905, the Fisher Theater in Detroit (which is still owned by the family) and founded the family company, the Nederlander Organization. He has four brothers: Harry, Jimmy, Fred, and
Joseph; and one sister, Frances. Nederlander graduated from the University of Michigan, where he played on the school's tennis team and earned a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School after which he established a law firm in Detroit.
After his fathers death in the 1960s, the Nederlander brothers continued to purchase theaters expanding nationally with Jimmy moving to New York City, Harry to San Francisco, and Joey remaining in Detroit Their largest rivals were the Shubert family, the founders of Broadway theatre district in New York City. In 1973, Nederlander and his brothers joined with George Steinbrenner as limited partners when Steinbrenner purchased the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball. In 1981, he moved to New York City, the heart of the live theater industry in the United States to, to serve as president of the Nederlander Organization; while his brother Jimmy served as the frontman for the company. He was also named the chairman and chief executive officer of the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company in 1989. He resigned from the role in 1993 to focus on other business ventures. In 1990, when Steinbrenner was banned from the Yankees for his association with a known gambler (who he had hired to find dirt on Dave Winfield), Nederlander became the Yankees' managing general partner (Steinbrenners oldest son, Hank, had declined the position). Nederlander resigned from the role, effective December 31, 1991, and was succeeded by Joe Molloy.