TSA’s ‘Blogger Bob,’ Curtis Robert Burns, Dies at 48

By Paul Riegler on 21 October 2018
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Security checkpoint at T4 at JFK

Security checkpoint at T4 at JFK

Curtis Robert Burns, known to many frequent travelers as the Transportation Security Administration’s “Blogger Bob,” died on October 19 at a hospital in Ohio.  He was 48.

The cause of death was a serious bacterial infection, according to what his friends posted on social media.

Burns was born in Hamilton, Ohio, in 1970 and served in the army after graduating high school.  He returned to Hamilton, where he worked for UPS as a driver, and formed the successful rock band Big in Iowa.

Burns began his career with the TSA in 2002 as a transportation security officer and became the agency’s official blogger in 2008.  In 2013, he was placed in charge of the agency’s Instagram account, where his humorous commentary about unusual, and usual, confiscated items brought the number of followers to over one million.

“I strive to leverage my experience, personality and creativity to help transform open government from promise to practice,” Burns said on his LinkedIn profile.

Burns’ last blog post was on October 10, TSA Week in Review: September 24-30, in which he pointed out that two grenades were found in the bags of two different travelers at Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport on the same day, calmly noting that such items are prohibited even if inert and can cause the evacuation of the airport.

Appearing on “The Doctors,” a syndicated talk show, Burns said that the craziest thing he had ever seen at an airport security checkpoint was a life-size movie prop corpse in a wheelchair from the movie “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.” The most dangerous things? “There are so many dangerous things … but what people find really surprising is that we find as many as 70 to 80 firearms a week in carry-on bans across the nation.”

His top travel tip: “Don’t travel with the things I’m posting on Instagram.”

Burns is survived by his wife and two daughters.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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