At the age of 16, Wagenhoffer was the only U.S. skater to be a junior and senior champion in singles and pairs in the same year. Two-time world professional figure skating champion, Robert followed his amateur and professional competitive career with a career starring in many national shows, including the Ice Capades, the Tour of the World and Olympic Champions, and World Cup Champions on Ice.
He was also an award-winning director and choreographer. He earned 31 other national and international medals during his 26-year amateur and pro career. Robert won the short program over Scott Hamilton at the 1982 U.S. Nationals. He was widely respected by his peers for, among other things, practicing quadruple toe loops in the 1970s, ten years before the first one was landed in competition.
He came out in a January/February 1996 interview with Monica Friedlander for Blades on Ice magazine. He spoke candidly and movingly of losing two family members to AIDS: his closest brother, in 1992, and his life partner of six years, Billy Lawe, in 1995.
After Lawe's death, Robert approached the work of skating with a freedom that came of having faced the worst. He won critical praise for his ensemble show choreography of Nutcracker on Ice in 1995 and Gershwin on Ice in 1996, as well as individual programs such as Eric Millot's Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1997. He continued to wow audiences with the performing ability, deep edges, and soaring jumps that earned him legendary status starting from the 1970s.
Robert performed in Ice Fantastic in 1998 and 1999, an annual skating fundraiser for CARES (Center for AIDS Research and Education Services) at the Iceland Ice Rink in Sacramento, California. During his last years, he was skating, choreographing, and coaching in California.
He choreographed Skate Against Hate, a benefit for Brian Boitano's new Youth Skate program that took place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on September 17, 1998.
Robert died in Torrance of complications from AIDS. He was 39. He is survived by his life partner, Sylvain Beauregard.