Julian Kenneth Robinson, 82, the son of Addie (Long) Robinson and Samuel Robinson, died at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital on February 24 after a long bout with leukemia. He was, until his move to the Vineyard in 1999, a life-long resident of Jersey City, N.J. He was a graduate of Jersey City public schools, Dartmouth College (class of 1952), and New York University.
He began his career as a public administrator in 1956, initially with a private foundation, “The Scholarship Service and Fund For Negro Students,” and subsequently in municipal government and public higher education. In Jersey City he served on boards of directors for most major community service social service agencies: The Y.M.C.A., United Way, American Red Cross, and for five years during its most difficult period, as chairman of the board of CANDO, the city’s anti-poverty organization.
He was appointed by Governor Hughes in 1967 as a member of the board of trustees of Jersey City State College. He was the first Black to serve as a municipal department director in Jersey City, as well as the first to serve as acting mayor.
In 1973 he was appointed by Governor Cahill as a member of the State Health Planning Council, and in 1978 Governor Byrne named him as a commissioner of the New Jersey Highway Authority, another “first.” He was reappointed by Governor Keane in 1985 and by Governor Floria in 1990.
In 1979 State Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard Hughes appointed him to the court of ethics committee from the Hudson District, the first time ever a non-lawyer had served on the vitally important body.
He was selected in 1972 for listing among “Outstanding Educators in America,” and he is listed in “Who’s Who in Black America, Notable Americans of 1976-77.”
Julian was a founder of the Jersey City Educational Center (formerly the Dartmouth Learning Center), and he served from 1975-79 as president of the agency’s board of directors.
In 1970, Julian served as a top administrator of Jersey City State College, first as Dean of Students and later as Vice-President for Student Affairs.
He was a Life Member of the N.A.A.C.P.
He was pre-deceased by his sister, Gloria Robinson. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Belmira “Mimi” Robinson.
A memorial service for Julian is being planned for later this spring.