Through failed marriages and many women who didn't measure up, Bob Hughes has always been a man of honor. The youngest child of Chris and Nancy Hughes, Bob's first wife was Lisa Miller, a young college student from Rockford, Illinois. Though Bob's parents tried to have the marriage annulled on the basis of the couple being too young, Lisa's pregnancy put an end to that, and the couple stayed with the Hugheses. Though Bob tried to be a good husband to Lisa and a good father to their son, Tommy, Lisa soon grew bored with her life and left Bob for a rich shoe salesman. The man found Lisa too unsophisticated, however, and dumped her. Lisa tried to get back together with Bob, but his pride was hurt, and he refused to take her back.
Not long after his divorce from Lisa, Bob fell for a sweet nurse named Sylvia Hill, who was suffering from lupus. However, that relationship ended rather quickly since Sylvia decided to return home to her native Michigan. Bob continued to be busy building his medical career and became best friends with the older Dr. David Stewart. Meanwhile, at home, Tommy was lashing out at the Hughes, thanks to Lisa's poisoning his mind against them. Blaming his father for the breakup of the marriage, Tommy destroyed "daddy" dolls and destroyed all gifts that Bob bought him. Finally, one day, Lisa suddenly left Oakdale with Tommy.
Searching for Tommy, the Hughes discovered that he had been placed in a military school in California, and Bob and his father, Chris, retrieved the boy and took him home. Now with his father, Tommy formed a close bond with his family again. Soon after, Bob received word that Lisa had gone to L.A., looking for Tommy, so he flew there to meet her, only to find her nearly catatonic following a rape. Distressed at her condition, Bob took her home.
Also returning to Oakdale was Sylvia, whose lupus was in remission. Bob and Sylvia resumed their relationship and became engaged. Unfortunately, by that time, Lisa had recovered from her traumatic experience in L.A., and guilted Sylvia about splitting up the family. Not wanting to be a detriment to a potential reconciliation, Sylvia ended it with Bob and left town. However, though Lisa, and Nancy, had hoped that he'd marry Lisa again, he rebuffed her advances once more.
Bob's next wife was Sandy Wilson McGuire, a woman who had been unjustly put in prison, and had a son named Jimmy from a previous marriage. Though both Tommy and Nancy opposed the union, with Nancy going as far as to tell Sandy that she'd always consider Lisa her daughter-in-law, Bob married Sandy anyway. The marriage was a happy one, until tragedy struck: Sandy was caught in a fire and was horribly burned. Sandy's condition left her terribly depressed, and Bob had no choice but to place her in an institution.
While Sandy was away, Bob's sister, Penny, who couldn't have children of her own, persuaded Sandy's ex-husband, Roy McGuire, to get custody of Jimmy, even though Roy really believed the boy should stay with Bob. This put Bob at odds with his sister, especially when Penny talked Roy into marrying her to ensure that he could get custody. Fortunately, Sandy soon recovered and returned to Bob, with Jimmy being returned to them. Later, it was Bob's turn to be caught in a fire. The fire left him blind. The stress of taking care of him became too much for Sandy, and she left. Feeling betrayed, Bob divorced her, and his eyesight later returned. Sandy returned to Oakdale a few years later and, though she and Bob tried to make another go of their relationship, by that time, Sandy was too involved in her new modeling career, and the two parted ways again.
Afterwards, Bob fell for nurse Jennifer Ryan, the wife of Bob's old friend from medical school, Chuck Ryan. When Chuck learned he was dying, he asked Bob to take care of his family. Bob kept his word and ended up falling in love. Though Jennifer's daughter, Barbara, liked the Hughes family, Rick, who idolized his father, deeply resented Bob and vehemently opposed Bob and Jennifer's relationship, going as far as to tell his mother that Lisa, who was now dating Bob's brother, Don, was pregnant with Bob's child. Thankfully for Bob, Jennifer saw right through the lie and married him. Unfortunately, Rick's poor performance at Memorial put a strain on their marriage because Jennifer continually accused Bob of being too hard on her son, who was an aspiring doctor. However, Bob refused to condone Rick's shoddy work, which included shamelessly stealing patients from Bob and David, and making careless near-fatal diagnoses.
With Rick a constant source of strife in the marriage, Bob and Jennifer's relationship started coming apart. Finally, at a convention in Florida, Bob was pleasantly surprised to see Jennifer's sister, Kim Sullivan Reynolds. A singer, the widowed Kim was performing in Florida, and she and Bob became reacquainted and had a fling. Afterwards, Kim, smitten with Bob, followed him back to Oakdale and observed for herself the deteriorating state of the marriage. Then came a shocking twist--both Jennifer and Kim ended up pregnant.
Knowing there was a baby on the way changed everything, and Kim and Bob decided to cover up the fact that she was pregnant with his child. Although Kim had resolved to raise the child on her own, she quickly fell prey to Bob's rival, Dr. John Dixon, and fell for his arguments that she should marry him to give the child a name. Later, one night, Bob and Jennifer fought, and Bob ran out of his house and was hit by a car. In a delirious state, he blurted out to Jennifer that Kim was pregnant with his baby. Though shocked, Jennifer placed the brunt of the blame on herself and resolved to be a more understanding wife. Late that year, Jennifer gave birth to their daughter, Frannie, while Kim was told that she had suffered a miscarriage. Kim stayed in her loveless marriage to John while Bob and Jennifer resolved to patch their marriage back together. Though things got easier when Rick left town, tragically, Jennifer would lose her life in a car accident, leaving Bob to raise Frannie alone.
Not long after, Sandy returned to town, running from her abusive husband, Norman Garrison. Soon, Norman followed, demanding that she return to him. Accusing Bob of having an affair with Sandy, Norman suddenly suffered a heart attack and was admitted to Memorial, where he later died after having another argument with someone. Soon an investigation, instigated by John Dixon, was conducted to see if Bob had caused Garrison's death. Thankfully, Bob was able to prove it was a woman who had argued with Garrison, which had caused his death.
After an uneventful relationship with Kim's former sister-in-law, Valerie Reynolds Conway, Bob found himself intrigued with a woman named Karen Peters, who confessed to running off with a file that would clear her father, a judge, of the wrongdoing that he was accused of. Meanwhile, D.A. Walter Vested tried to persuade Bob to retrieve the papers and give them to him, but, sensing something was wrong, Bob refused. Shortly after, Karen's hotel room was ransacked, and she fled town, but Vested lured her back by having his thugs go after Bob. Seeing Karen, Bob warned her not to trust Vested, since he believed Vested was corrupt. Soon, Vested caught up with them and pulled a gun on the pair, but was killed in a struggle over the gun. Not long after, Bob was shocked to learn that Karen herself was also involved in the white-collar crimes, and she was placed in jail.
Years later, Bob became involved with Nurse Lyla Montgomery, and they fell in love and became engaged. However, trouble came during Dee Stewart's rape trial against John when Lyla was forced to admit that John was the father of her oldest daughter, Margo. Distressed that Lyla never told him about knowing John -- in fact she'd led him to believe that she'd never known John before -- Bob told Lyla that he didn't know how he felt about her. Sadly, Lyla returned his ring.
Next, Bob briefly married Miranda Marlowe, an international criminal. At one point, Miranda learned that her daughter, Bilan, was alive. Seventeen years earlier, Miranda, fearing for Bilan's safety, had been forced to abandon the child after Bilan's father was murdered by Mr. Big's criminal organization. Sympathetic to her plight, Tom and Margo agreed to locate the girl and convince Bilan of her mother's love. Unbeknownst to them, Mr. Big was hoping to uncover a missing treasure that had belonged to Bilan's father; he was also looking for the teenager.
Tom and Margo traveled from a convent in Paris to the island of Drasue, where they found Bilan in a jungle village -- but Mr. Big's men had followed them. Luckily, Bilan was able to escape and made her way to the U.S. Despite having some issues with her new stepmother, a nearly grown-up Frannie became friends with Bilan. Unfortunately, when Frannie did this, she shunted aside, just a bit, another friend of hers, Marcy Thompson. Marcy started to believe that Frannie didn't like her because of how poor she was and so when Frannie, who was volunteering as a candy striper at Memorial, introduced Marcy to her dad, Marcy decided to get Frannie back by kissing the older, rather shocked, Bob.
At this same time, wealthy Kirk McColl, who was starting to date Marcy after Frannie spurned him, got mad at Marcy because she'd started developing a crush on Dr. Bob. During the end of 1983, while Bob was getting very frustrated about all of Miranda's lies, Marcy decided it was her time to pounce on Dr. Bob, literally. One day, Marcy went to Bob's office and literally threw herself on top of him unto his couch. At that moment, in walked Miranda, Bilan, Kirk, and Frannie. Although it was innocent on Bob's part, that event helped bring about the end of Bob and Miranda's marriage. Another factor was that Miranda found the Hughes family hopelessly provincial and, when her suave old flame arrived, he was easily able to persuade her to leave Bob. Marcy continued to have that crush on Bob, until Lisa finally set her straight.
Soon after, Bob was finally able to marry the love of his life, and long-time friend, Kim. Soon after their marriage, Bob and Kim became involved in a mystery surrounding a young woman from England named Sabrina who looked an awful lot like Frannie. The Hughes weren't the only ones curious about Sabrina--someone else was asking about her as well, and when Bob spotted Memorial's former hospital administrator, he reached a stunning conclusion about who Sabrina really was. Tracking down Lansing for confirmation, Bob found him and demanded to know if Sabrina was the baby that Kim was told had died years earlier.
In the end, it was discovered that Kim had never miscarried her baby---Lansing and Rick Ryan had sold the baby to the wealthy Fullertons. The story out, Bob and Kim welcomed Sabrina into the family. Sabrina eventually moved to Oakdale and lived, for a time, with Bob and Kim before moving to Montega. Not long after, Kim gave birth to Bob's youngest son, Christopher. The biggest crisis to hit the Hughes marriage was when Bob had an affair with his old friend, Susan Stewart, Kim's old rival. Though Kim threw him out of the house, eventually she forgave him and their marriage remained on solid ground.
In his later years, Bob faced a professional crisis when three of his patients died under his care. Suffering from memory lapses during this time, Bob's handling of the cases was being looked into, and he agreed to step down as head of Memorial. Though he initially balked at Chris's request that he seek out a specialist, he finally relented and made an appointment with the new geriatric specialist, Dr. Rick Decker. Though Chris feared that Bob might be suffering from Alzheimer's, he actually had been suffering from a series of mini strokes that were treatable with medication. However, when more people started dying, it became apparent that there was a serial killer at Memorial.
After bringing in a specialist, Walker Daniels, Bob was concerned when Daniels began suspecting Dr. Decker. Bob, however, stood by his doctor especially since there was no real evidence against him. However, Bob did find a key piece of evidence, the journal of a murdered nurse. Having realized who the killer was, Bob confronted him but was injected with potassium chloride and lingered in a coma. Weeks later, he awoke to see Dr. Decker standing over him and called him a murderer before slipping back into a coma. Not long after, Bob awoke again for a brief moment, long enough to tell Chris, "Rick." Soon after, Bob made a full recovery and named Rick as his attacker.
A few years later, after having left Oakdale to work in Pittsburgh and then Africa, Chris returned home with none other than Emily. Chris accepted Bob's offer to return to Memorial as head of research. Immediately, Chris was at loggerheads with his father over a research project conducted by Evan Walsh IV. While Chris felt the project was cutting-edge and would help people in the end, Bob felt it was way too risky. Though Bob had intended to groom Chris to eventually take over as chief of staff, Chris's arrogant ambitiousness unsettled Bob. While Emily encouraged Chris and even helped by printing a story condemning Bob for his closed-minded reaction to the project, Dusty Donovan sided with Bob and warned that if the project was approved, he would pull the Jennifer Munson Foundation out of Memorial.
That same day, Bob overheard Chris talking to Evan about his project, stating that Bob won't be a problem anymore. Finally, Bob had enough of his son's attitude and fired him from Memorial. That same day, Bob was left comatose following a stroke and, thanks to Kim's insistence that Bob wanted Chris to take over, Chris, who told no one of the huge argument he'd had with Bob, was sworn in as interim chief of staff. Defying his father's wishes, Chris approved Walsh's project. Soon, Dusty started accusing Chris of causing his father's stroke, which Chris vehemently denied. Meanwhile, Bob lingered in a coma for six weeks. When Bob woke up, a humbled Chris apologized for his arrogant behavior.
Despite his brush with death, Bob continued to work long hours at the hospital, frustrating Kim. The final straw came when Bob refused to take a vacation and go away with Kim to the cabin for their anniversary. At the same time, while planning a special surprise for Bob and Kim, Tom and Margo discovered that Bob and Kim weren't legally married. The family proposed holding a quickie ceremony the following day, but an upset Kim revealed that she might not want to marry Bob at all. Luckily, the family was able to convince the pair to reconcile and Bob and Kim married again in a beautiful ceremony with their family present. Afterwards, Bob finally decided to retire and put two names on the list to be his successor—Chris and a new doctor named Reid Oliver. Unfortunately, when it came time for bob to retire, Reid had died in a car accident and Chris was recovering from a heart transplant following a near fatal illness. Bob named John Dixon as interim Chief of Staff and bid adieu to Memorial Hospital.