While older brother Bill is considered to be one of America's great hockey pioneers, Bob Cleary too was a hockey star in his own right.
Bob was one of the great college players to come out of the East in the post World War II era.
First he played three varsity seasons at Belmont Hill prep school, he led his team to three consecutive Massachusetts private school titles. At the same time he played with Cusick, winning the American national junior championship in 1952, 1953 and 1954.
Upon graduation from high school Bob joined his brother Bill at Harvard. Bob enjoyed three memorable seasons at Harvard, scoring 202 points including 100 goals, twice leading the nation in scoring. Bob, who was coached at Harvard by none other than Boston Bruins Hall of Famer Ralph "Cooney" Weiland, also captained the baseball team.
The Clearys became key members of American international efforts in hockey, too. They were key members of the 1959 United States National Team which finished fourth in the World Tournament at Prague. In 1960 they were late addition to the 1960 Olympic Team, joining former Harvard linemate Bob McVey to form one of the upstart Americans most effective lines. Bill led the Americans in scoring while Bob finished third, with five goals and three assists. The Americans shocked the world by winning Olympic gold on home ice in Squaw Valley, California.
Bob Cleary was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1981, 5 years after his brother received the same honor.