A bibliophile, Robin had MoCo Bookmobile card #91. His Dad, a Rhodes Scholar, who worked for 40 years in the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress, used to bring him home 6 books to read every week. His Mom was a Registered Nurse.
Robin entered the United State’s Military Academy at West Point as the second youngest member of his class and ranked second in physical fitness. He won the “King of the Pits” award in Hand-to-Hand Combat, was on the Dean’s List, and later received an Honorable Discharge from the US Army.
Robin received a BS in Engineering from Case Institute of Technology and attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He received a JD from the University of Baltimore Law and a MA in Public Administration from American University. Along the way, Robin served as an intern for Congressman Mathias of MD, Congressman Hervey Machen of MD, and Congressman Tom Morris of New Mexico. He spent a summer working as an engineer for the Harbor Board of Stockholm and 6 months as a gardener/laborer for Lady Bird Johnson’s Beautification of Washington Project where he would put up all the American flags around the Washington Monument every Saturday morning.
Robin became a member of the Maryland Bar, ultimately completing 35,000+ cases in Maryland Courts. His first case went to the U.S. Supreme Court to attempt to end the TV blackout of sold out home Redskins playoff games. Ultimately, Congress changed the law to allow televising of sold out NFL games. Pete Rozelle, NFL Commissioner, said, “Congress would never have changed the law if it hadn’t been for the lawsuit in Washington.”
Robin also won Montgomery County’s definitive sex discrimination suit when a Federal Judge compelled a settlement in Drudge v. McKernon, whereby the Montgomery County Government could not rate female job applicants as to physique and facial features, could not ask questions about child care arrangements and marital status, and had to offer a job to his client, Ms. Drudge.
Robin won the first Federal injunction ever against the MoCo School Board to keep them from tearing down East Silver Spring Elementary School.
Robin won a Federal Consent Decree in North Takoma Citizens Association v. Metro to compel Metro to file proper environmental impact statements for any amendment to their Mass Transit General Plan and to replace parkland they lopped off of Jessup Blair Park.
He served as Assistant General Counsel for the National Soft Drink Association and the Information Services Business Division of General Electric.
He was appointed by Rosa Parks and Jacqueline Jackson to be the first General Counsel for the National Caucus on the Black Aged. Before that Robin had participated in the March on Washington with Dr. King and Robin’s friend, Dr. Walter Fauntroy. And he had picketed the segregationist policies at Glen Echo Park.
Robin overturned in Federal Court 3 state laws. One victory overturned a state law forbidding paying circulators of Charter Amendment petitions for collecting signatures. Robin recovered $30,000 in attorney’s fees. Another, victory in the US Court of Appeals in Richmond, overturned a state law forbidding Attorney Mail solicitation within 30 days of arrest. The third overturned prohibition of any attorney mail solicitations. In addition, Robin, represented by the ACLU, overturned Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission rules against petition gathering & sign holding in the parks of Montgomery and Prince Georges County.
In 1974, Robin collected 18,000 signatures to place a charter amendment on the MoCo ballot to require voter approval of capital improvement bonds issued by the county.
In 1976, he collected 18,000 signatures to place each of 3 Charter Amendments on the ballot: 1. To allow recall of local elected officials, 2. To require voter approval of increases in the property tax rate, and 3. To require voter approval of capital improvement bonds for projects costing more than $1,000,000.
In 1978, Robin’s Charter Amendment prohibiting garbage dumps in residential zones got 70% of the vote and stopped the planned Potomac Dump.
In 1980, Robin’s Charter Amendment forbidding trenching sewage sludge in residential zones got 80% of the vote.
In 1982, Robin’s Charter Amendment forbidding long distance phone rates from upper MoCo to PG or No.Va passed, but his amendment to get the county out of the liquor business was struck from the ballot by the Court.
In 1984, Robin placed a charter Amendment requiring the council to run in single-member districts.
In 1990, Robin placed charter amendments limiting the county property tax rates to 1988 levels and forbidding the county from building projects which state law requires the state to build. He also won Ficker vs. Denny in the Maryland Court of Appeals where the Court said that Mr. Denny, who collected signatures on a tax limiting charter amendment, had to turn those petitions in to the Board of Elections.
In 1992, 1994, 1996 and 1998, Robin placed Charter Amendments reducing county property taxes by the amount collected from the county’s new piggyback income tax. In 1998, there was an attempt to place a charter amendment requiring voter approval of new taxes or tax increases.
In 2000, Robin placed a Charter Amendment limiting the Council and Executive to two four-year terms in Office.
In 2002, Robin placed a Charter Amendment to limit increases in County property tax revenue to the rate of inflation.
In 2004, Robin placed a Charter Amendment to limit the County Executive and County Council to 3 four-year terms in office.
In 2006, Robin placed a Charter Amendment on the ballot to limit increases in county property tax revenue to the rate of inflation unless a unanimous council voted to exceed that limit. The question passed with 200,000 votes over the opposition of EVERY elected official and the Washington Post.
In 2016, Robin collected the signatures to place a Term Limits Charter Amendment on the ballot limiting the Council to 3 consecutive four-year terms in office. Once again every elected official opposed it. The winning result was 70%, 300,000 votes, majorities of 253 of 257 precincts.
Robin was elected to a four-year term in the Maryland House of Delegates, the only member of his party in District 15 for any office to win.
He is most proud of his US Senate campaign where over a 3 year period he shook hands with over 600,000 Marylanders.
His wife, a former Medical Mission Sister, was a pediatrician at Children's National Medical Center and in charge of the child abuse unit there, while Robin played Santa there at Christmas. She was also President of the Church Council at Our Lady of Mercy. Her Dad was a Lieutenant General in the U.S. Army in charge of logistics for the Vietnam War.
The couple had three children and encouraged physical fitness by building a three-lap rubberized running track in their yard. Their daughter became a professional triathlete, finishing as high as second in the World Ironman Triathlon Championships in Kona, Hawaii. Both sons were wrestlers, one wrestling for 5 years in the PAC Ten.