Who Is Robert Vesco, the Only Man to Best Red on 'The Blacklist'?

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Nov. 4 2021, Published 11:09 p.m. ET

Stacy Keach
Source: NBC

We love a good mystery, and Robert Vesco (Stacy Keach) is just the kind of man who can deliver one right to us. When Robert shows up on The Blacklist, we don't know what to expect and could not possibly predict where things will end up. If you're having trouble remembering who he is and are wondering who Robert Vesco is on The Blacklist, we got you covered. You could say he's a National Treasure.

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Who is Robert Vesco on 'The Blacklist'?

It's hard to imagine Red (James Spader) having a mentor, but he did, in the form of Robert Vesco. We first meet Robert in Season 6, and it's nothing short of wild. Robert and Red are really more frenemies than anything else. Before he disappeared and was presumed dead, Robert robbed Red of everything he owned then vanished into the wind.

Stacy Keach as Robert Vesco
Source: NBC
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While in prison, Red heard a rumor that Robert had actually faked his own death. Why would someone do that? For money, of course, and by money we mean gold. Red believes Robert found the treasure of De La Cruz, which is a sunken ship, and that is what prompted his sudden disappearance.

Somebody call Nicolas Cage because what happens next is truly a treasure hunt. It turns out Robert never had the gold, quelle surprise, because while he figured out the treasure map that would lead him to it, he thought he was being watched. That's why he decided to lay low for a while. The hunt leads them to an old opera house in New Orleans, but swindlers gonna swindle because Robert tricked Red again and left him high and dry.

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Source: Twitter / @StacyKeach1

Robert Vesco on 'The Blacklist' was based on a real-life Robert Vesco.

The real Robert Vesco was quite the criminal. In 1996, he was sentenced to a lengthy prison term in Cuba. Back in the United States, he was wanted for various crimes such as political bribery, drug trafficking, and securities fraud. For nearly 40 years, the real Robert Vesco was on the run from authorities.

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Source: Twitter / @ourhiddenhistry

Robert Vesco was wanted for many things. The list was long and impressive, ranging from things like siphoning $200 million from investors in the 1970s, illegally contributing to Richard Nixon's 1972 presidential campaign, and even arranging a deal to let Libya buy American planes in exchange for bribes to the U.S. during the Carter administration.

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The real Robert Vesco was hiding out in Cuba from the United States government for financial schemes. While taking sanctuary, he was sentenced to prison. Evidently, he was living a quiet life in Havana when he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died in November 2007, but there's a twist.

Source: Twitter / @marierose0333
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According to The New York Times, his death was never reported publicly by the Cuban authorities, and American officials never heard about his death. People who knew the real Robert Vesco said it would not shock them to learn that he faked his own death just to be able to get away with it one more time.

Arthur Herzog, an author who interviewed him for a biography said, "He could have died, but Bob has used disguises in the past." That would be one heck of a disguise.

The Blacklist airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.

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