Captain Robert DeSoto was the commanding officer of the Federation starship USS Hood and one of Starfleet's most famous officers.

From 2361 to 2364, his first officer was Lieutenant Commander William Riker. During a mission to Altair III, Riker refused to allow Captain DeSoto to lead the away mission, due to the dangers the planet possessed. Captain DeSoto had a great respect for Riker and regretted his transfer to the Enterprise-D. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint")

DeSoto still commanded the Hood in 2366 when his vessel rendezvoused with the Enterprise-D. DeSoto noted that while the "Galaxy class boys" aboard Enterprise got to enjoy the frontier; "Me, I'm hauling my butt back and forth between starbases". (TNG: "Tin Man")

Al Lorenzo's collection of holophotos included one of him sitting behind DeSoto's desk after sneaking into his office. (DS9: "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River")

Captain DeSoto was played by Michael Cavanaugh.
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