Robert Cardoza, chairman of the American Automobile Association, is dead in Modesto at the age of 59. Cardoza died Thursday after a year-long battle with cancer. Cardoza was born in Hanford. He attended Modesto Junior College and Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo on a football scholarship. He earned a degree in agribusiness management in 1965. Cardoza was president of the Modesto Chamber of Commerce and worked with such organizations as The Association for Retarded Citizens and the local YMCA. He was CEO of the Modesto Production Credit Association and founded PV Financial, which became Pacific Valley National Bank. He was president and CEO of the bank until it was sold in 1994. The next year he started The Cardoza Company, a consulting and investments firm followed by The Cardoza Foundation, which makes contributions to local charities. Cardoza became a director of the California State Automobile Association in 1979. He joined the board of the 44-million member American Automobile Association in 1995. He was elected national chairman in 2001 and re-elected in April. Cardoza is survived by his wife Joan, two sons and two daughters.