Jim Robinson was born in Rock Hill, South Carolina and became an Orlando citizen when his father brought his family to Florida in 1926.
Jim attended Hillcrest Elementary School for the first two years and was in the class with a cute little blonde named Betty Thornton, who made no impression on him – then. The family moved to Conway and Jim went to Delaney school, Cherokee Junior High School and Orlando High School. Before his senior year at Orlando High School, that blonde popped up again and they were sweethearts, both chosen by the class as most likely to succeed.
After graduation in 1940, Betty went to Florida State College for Women and Jim headed for University of Florida … Jim was a private first class in the Army when he and Betty were married at the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando … Jim served as an officer in France and Germany in World War II.
ABOVE: Colorized photograph from the front of the 1940 Orlando Senior High School yearbook featuring Senior Class officers in a snazzy automobile. They include: Jim Robinson – president, Betty Thornton – Secretary, Johnny Crank – Vice President, and Teddy Wood – Treasurer.
Jim returned to the University of Florida to finish his law degree [and] returned to Orlando where Jim went to work in LeRoy Giles’ office and joined Mr. Giles in a partnership in 1953 under the name of “Giles, Hedrick & Robinson.” The firm operated under this name from 1953 to 1992 when it became “Giles & Robinson.”
Jim Robinson served as president of the firm and was the lead attorney for the firm with Orange County, the Aviation Authority, First Federal Savings and Loan Association and was the most public figure in the firm. He was president of the Orlando Chamber of Commerce, President of the Kiwanis Club, the Children’s Home Society, and served as president of the Central Florida Civic Theater . . . [and] president of WMFE Public Television [board of directors for three years].
ABOVE: I worked as the Promotion Assistant and Traffic Manager for WMFE-TV for a brief period in the 1970s when it was located in Mid Florida Tech at 2908 West Oak Ridge Road, Orlando, 32809. Look at excerpts of the 1976 monthly membership publication which memorializes “Captain Marvel” – L. Dale Marvel and lists the members of the staff, the 24 Hundred Club, the Executive Committee, and Board of Directors. Program Guide Staff: Linda Mayfield, Promotion Manager; Sheri Lamb, Art Director; John Newsome, Development Director; Kathy Thorsen, Special Projects Coordinator; Barbara Behun, Staff Artist; Kim Peters, Traffic Manager and Promotion Assistant. Executive Committee: James C. Robinson, President; Stephen M. Steck, Executive Vice President; Dean C. Engstrom, President Elect; R. L. Gould, Treasurer; Michael P. Johnson, Secretary; James R. Spence, Past President; John R. Thorsen, Chairman Development Committee; Mrs. H. E. Gross, Chairman Educative Services Committee; Mrs. Bert E. Roper, Chairman Governmental Relations Committee; Frank J. White, Chairman Long Range Planning Committee; Mrs. Richard F. Trismen, Chairman, Programming Committee; Glenn Miller.
Jim was active in politics in the Democratic Party and ran for Congress in 1968… While he served as County Attorney, he was instrumental in the removal of segregated facilities in the Orange County Courthouse.
Jim has taken an active role in the Presbyterian Church, locally as Deacon, Elder and teacher, and in the national church as member of the Executive Council, a member of the Board of World Missions, a member of the Foundation, and member of the Permanent Judicial Committee.
Jim and Betty Robinson were recognized for their many contributions to the greater Orlando community in this article published in the October, 2013 issue of Pine Castle Women’s Club newsletter. Betty is a second generation Orlandoan and they both graduated from Orlando High School in 1940.
From Biographical Sketches of some of the people who worked for the law firms started in 1908 by LeRoy B. Giles (Florida collection at the Orlando Public Library FLORIDA 975.924 ROB).
Peruse images and documents under Attachments below.
Betty and Jim Robinson were recognized for their many contributions to the greater Orlando community in this article published in the October, 2013 issue of Pine Castle Women's Club newsletter. Betty is a second generation Orlandoan and they both graduated from Orlando High School in 1940.