This photo of Bob Betts was taken at the 1953 Culver City "La Ballona Valley Days" festival about a week before his 27th birthday. Bob Betts (1926-1984) was born in Los Angeles California to Dorothy and Warren Betts. Warren managed a lumber company.
Bob Betts was an orchid grower for Clint McDade, the owner of Rivermont Orchids. McDade's fame in the orchid world primarily came from his white Cattleya hybrids, particularly crosses of Cattleya Bow Bells. According to Chadwick and Chadwick's The Classic Cattleyas (2006, Timber Press, pgs. 164-168), the most important C. Bow Bells cross was C. Bob Betts (C. Bow Bells x C. mossiae var. wagneri). C. Bob Betts, registered by McDade in 1950, was the first Bow Bells cross to flower in the United States. According to Chadwick and Chadwick (pg. 167), C. Bob Betts "became the most awarded white cattleya in the history of the [American Orchid] Society's judging with over 66 quality awards." The Chadwicks explain that, despite tremendous effort to improve white cattleyas, the standard set by C. Bow Bells and C. Bob Betts has rarely been surpassed.
The booming market for corsages between 1930-1960 generated a lot of interest in our beloved cattleyas. Sandwiched in time between Knudson's seed growing technique (1922) and the development of meristem cloning (1964), the creation of white hybrids like C. Bob Betts mark an exciting moment in cattleya history. Hybridizers have also used C. Bow Bells to create scrumptiously colorful catts. You can buy a piece of orchid history at a reasonable price from Orchids by Hausermann (but it looks as if it's going to take up much more space on your growing table than your average grocery store catt). Sadly, I didn't find much information about Bob Betts, but the flower after which he is named stands as an undeniable image of beauty.