Bob Sheldon was a Soc, so his parents were rich.
All of the Socs are very wealthy. Pony describes them as “filthy rich.” Robert Sheldon’s family was no exception. His family was influential, and he was influential. Despite his bad behavior, Bob Sheldon still managed to be a leader amongst the Socs.
Randy explains to Ponyboy that Bob was out of control because his parents indulged him.
They spoiled him rotten. I mean, most parents would be proud of a kid like that--- good-lookin' and smart and everything, but they gave in to him all the time. He kept trying to make someone say 'No' and they never did. They never did. (Ch. 7)
Bob clearly had many friends. Cherry told Ponyboy that although she hated it when Bob drank, she still kind of loved him. He had the type of personality that others were drawn to.
I know I'm too young to be in love and all that, but Bob was something special. He wasn't just any boy. He had something that made people follow him, something that marked him different, maybe a little better, than the crowd. (Ch. 8)
Although the Socs seem to like Bob, even though they feel that his parents have let him down, the greasers have a very different opinion of him. He beat up Johnny with his friends, and he targets Johnny and Pony again in the park. Bob almost drowned Pony in the fountain, and it was only Johnny’s intervention that saved him.
Bob seems like the typical Soc. He is rich and out of control. He thinks he can do whatever he wants, and no one stops him. For him, targeting greasers is a sport. He makes fun of them and beats them up for no reason. He even wears rings on his hands so that he can really hurt them. When Johnny kills him to save Pony, it ruins all three of their lives.