Jeffers, Robinson, 1887-1962, American poet and dramatist, b. Pittsburgh, grad. Occidental College, 1905. From 1914 until his death Jeffers lived on the Big Sur section of the rocky California coast, finding his inspiration in its stern beauty. For Jeffers the world, viewed pantheistically, was marred only by humanity, a doomed and inverted species, and its tainted civilization. He frequently used Greek myth to illustrate humankind's tortured mind, its diseased introspection, and its alienation from nature. Jeffers' poetry is virile, intense, and rich in elemental power, with dense clusters of words and sweeping rhythms. Among his volumes of poetry are Tamar and Other Poems (1924), Roan Stallion (1925), The Woman at Point Sur (1927), Cawdor (1928), Dear Judas (1929), Give Your Heart to the Hawks (1933), Such Counsels You Gave to Me (1937), The Double Axe & Other Poems (1948), and Hungerfield and Other Poems (1954). His adaptations of Greek tragedy—Medea (1947), The Tower beyond Tragedy (pub. 1924; produced 1950), and The Cretan Woman (1954)—brought him wide recognition.

See his letters, ed. by A. N. Ridgway (1968); T. Hunt, ed., The Selected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers (2001); biographies by M. B. Bennett (1966) and R. J. Brophy (1975); studies by A. B. Coffin (1971), A. A. Vardamis (1972), R. J. Brophy (rev. ed. 1976), M. Beilke (1977), R. Zaller (1983), and J. Karman (1987, repr. 1995); collections of essays on Jeffers ed. by J. Karman (1990), R. Zaller (1991), and R. Brophy (1995).

Robinson, Arthur Howard, 1915-2004, American cartographer, b. Montreal to American parents, Ph.D Ohio State Univ., 1947. The head of the map division of the Office of Strategic Services for much of World War II, he taught at the Univ. of Wisconsin from 1946 until 1980. The Robinson, or orthophanic, map projection, which he developed (1963), presents a pleasing and relatively balanced world map for thematic use, replacing the widely used Mercator projection, which severely distorts the size of areas near the poles (the so-called Greenland problem). His Elements of Cartography (1953, 6th ed. 1995) became a standard textbook in cartography, and he was instrumental in establishing cartography as an academic discipline.
Robinson, Bill, 1878-1949, African-American tap dancer popularly known as "Bojangles," b. Richmond, Va., as Luther Robinson. An influential virtuoso tap dancer, he was a tap innovator and reputedly the first to dance on the balls of his feet instead of in the earlier flat-footed style. For many years he performed on the black entertainment circuit, joining (1886) a touring musical troupe, beginning (1906) a successful stage and nightclub career, and dancing for years in vaudeville. Robinson achieved wide acclaim for his appearance on Broadway in Blackbirds of 1928 and later starred in the musical The Hot Mikado (1939). He was in 14 Hollywood features in the 1930s and 40s, including In Old Kentucky (1935) and Stormy Weather (1943), and made four movies with Shirley Temple, including The Little Colonel (1935), in which he performed his famous "stair" dance with the child star, and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938).

See biography by J. Haskins and N. R. Mitgang (1988, repr. 1999).

Robinson, Boardman, 1876-1952, American painter, illustrator, and cartoonist, b. Somerset, N.S., studied at the Massachusetts School of Art, Boston, and in Paris. After four years of painting in San Francisco he went to New York City and was illustrator and cartoonist for the Morning Telegraph (1907-10) and for the Tribune (1910-14). He went with John Reed to the Balkans and Russia and served (1915) as war correspondent. Upon his return he contributed cartoons to various journals and was for several years at the Art Students League, where he gained a great following as a teacher. He also became known for his murals that decorate Rockefeller Center, New York City, the Dept. of Justice Building, Washington, D.C., and many other buildings. From 1936 to 1947 he was director of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Robinson is perhaps most famous for his satirical political cartoons and his illustrations, as for Dostoyevsky's works and Melville's Moby-Dick.

See study by A. Christ-Janer (1946).

Robinson, Charles, 1818-94, American politician, first governor of the state of Kansas (1861-63), b. Hardwick, Mass. He studied medicine and in 1849 he joined the gold rush to California, where the next year he was elected to the California legislature; he opposed the establishment of slavery in California. He returned (1851) to Massachusetts, again practiced medicine, and for two years edited the Fitchburg News. In 1854, Robinson went to Kansas as agent of the Emigrant Aid Company, began the settlement of Lawrence, and commanded free-state forces in the Wakarusa War. Under the free-state constitution adopted by the Topeka convention he was elected (Jan., 1856) governor. He attempted to avoid conflict with federal authorities, but he ignored the laws passed by the proslavery territorial legislature of 1855. After taking office he was arrested for treason and usurpation of office by the proslavery party. A federal grand jury acquitted him. Robinson was reelected in 1858 and again in 1859, under the Wyandotte Constitution, but he waited until Kansas was admitted (1861) to the Union before assuming the governorship. He was elected state senator in 1874 and 1876, was a regent of the state university (1864-74, 1893-94), and was superintendent of the Haskell Institute at Lawrence (1887-89). He wrote The Kansas Conflict (1892).

See biography by F. W. Blackmar (1901, repr. 1971).

Robinson, Eddie (Edward Gay Robinson), 1919-2007, African-American football coach, b. Jackson, La., grad. Leland College, Baker, La. (B.A., 1941), Univ. of Iowa (M.A., 1954). A college quarterback, Robinson was hired upon his graduation by Grambling State Univ. (then the Louisiana Negro Normal and Industrial Institute and later Grambling State College) as a coach and teacher. He later made sports history as the celebrated leader of the Grambling Tigers. In 1985 he broke the record set by Bear Bryant as collegiate football's "winningest" coach (a record Robinson no longer holds), and in 1995 he became the first coach to win 400 games. During his career, more than 200 Grambling players went on to play in the National Football League. At his retirement (1997), Robinson had a record of 408 wins, 165 losses, and 15 ties.

See his autobiography (1999); O. K. Davis, Grambling's Gridiron Glory (1985); A. Wash and P. Webb, ed., Reflections of a Legend: Coach Eddie G. Robinson (1997).

Robinson, Edward G., 1893-1973, American movie actor, b. Bucharest, Romania, as Emmanuel Goldberg. He made his stage debut in New York City in 1915. A short, tough-looking man, Robinson played both vicious gangsters and amiable men, the latter frequently led astray by unfaithful women. His most famous role was as the snarling mobster in Little Caesar (1931). He played criminals in such movies as Five Star Final (1931), Kid Galahad (1937), and Key Largo (1948), and more sympathetic parts in Double Indemnity (1944), The Stranger (1946), Tight Spot (1955), and Soylent Green (1973).

See his autobiography (1974).

Robinson, Edwin Arlington, 1869-1935, American poet, b. Head Tide, Maine, attended Harvard (1891-93). At his death, many critics considered Robinson the greatest poet in the United States. He is now best remembered for his short poems characterizing various residents of "Tilbury Town," which was based on his hometown, Gardiner, Maine. His first volume of verse, The Torrent and the Night Before (1896), was revised and reissued as The Children of the Night (1897). In 1899, Robinson settled in New York City. Although his third volume of verse, Captain Craig (1902), was poorly received by critics, it attracted the attention of President Theodore Roosevelt, who secured Robinson a job in the New York customshouse. He finally achieved critical recognition with The Man against the Sky (1916). Thereafter he concentrated on long psychological narrative poems, such as Avon's Harvest (1921), The Man Who Died Twice (1924; Pulitzer Prize), Dionysus in Doubt (1925), and the Arthurian romances Merlin (1917), Lancelot (1920), and Tristram (1928; Pulitzer Prize). A quiet, introverted man, Robinson never married and became legendary for his reclusiveness. Although his later poetry reveals a deep consciousness of social issues, an experimentation with symbolism, and an increasingly optimistic view of human destiny, his most lasting work is probably his early verse. "Miniver Cheevy" and "Richard Cory" are among the most famous of his brief, dramatic poems. Volumes of his collected poems were published in 1921 (Pulitzer Prize), 1937, and years after his work fell out of popular and critical fashion, in 1999.

See his letters, ed. by R. Torrence (1940, repr. 1980), D. Sutcliffe (1947), and R. Cary (1968); biographies by C. P. Smith (1965) and L. O. Coxe (1969); studies by Y. Winters (1946, repr. 1971) and D. Burton (1986).

Robinson, Frank, 1935-, American baseball player and manager, b. Beaumont, Tex. Entering major-league baseball as an outfielder for the Cincinnati Reds, Robinson was named the National League's rookie of the year in 1956 and most valuable player (MVP) in 1961. Traded to the American League's Baltimore Orioles in 1965, he won the batting triple crown and the MVP award in 1966, becoming the first player ever to be voted MVP in both leagues. After stints with the Los Angeles Dodgers (1972) and California Angels (1973-74), he played (1974-76) for the Cleveland Indians, where he also became (1975-77) the first African-American manager in major-league history. Robinson subsequently managed the San Francisco Giants (1981-84) and Orioles (1988-91) and was manager of the year in 1982 and 1989. From 1991 to 1994 he was assistant general manager with the Orioles. He became director of baseball operations for the Arizona Fall League and consultant to the commissioner for special projects in major-league baseball's central office in 1997 and vice president for on-field operations in 2000. From 2002 to 2006 he was manager of the Montreal Expos, who moved to Washington, D.C., and became the Nationals after 2004.
Robinson, Henry Crabb, 1775-1867, English diarist, journalist, and lawyer. He practiced law occasionally and served (1808-9) as war correspondent for the London Times. His voluminous correspondence and diaries are a mine of information about his literary acquaintances, among whom were Goethe, Schiller, the Wordsworths, Coleridge, and Lamb. Selections from his writings have been published in several editions.

See biography by E. J. Morley (1935).

Robinson, Jackie (Jack Roosevelt Robinson), 1919-72, American baseball player, the first African-American player in the modern major leagues, b. Cairo, Ga. He grew up in Pasadena, Calif., where he became an outstanding athlete in high school and junior college. While attending (1939-41) the Univ. of California at Los Angeles, he established a wide reputation in baseball, basketball, football, and track.

Robinson left college to support his mother, but in 1941 played professional football with the Los Angeles Bulldogs of the Pacific Coast League. He entered the army in World War II and was discharged as a lieutenant in 1945. In Oct., 1945, Branch Rickey, then president of the Brooklyn Dodgers, signed Robinson to play for the Montreal Royals, a Brooklyn farm club in the International League. Despite several incidents in spring training in the South and many inconveniences during the season, Robinson—the first African-American ballplayer in that league—excelled as a second baseman and won the league batting crown.

In 1947 precedent was shattered when Robinson was brought up to the Brooklyn club. African Americans had not played in big-league competition in the 20th cent., but resistance dwindled as Robinson excelled. In 1949 he won the National League batting crown, hitting .342, and was named the NL's most valuable player. Robinson played his entire career (1947-56) with Brooklyn, where he set fielding and batting records and gained a reputation for base stealing. Other African Americans began playing in the major leagues soon after his debut. In 1962 Robinson became the first African American to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

See his autobiography (1972); J. Tygiel, Baseball's Great Experiment (1983) and Extra Bases (2002); A. Rampersad, Jackie Robinson (1997); S. Simon, Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball (2002).

Robinson, James Harvey, 1863-1936, American historian, b. Bloomington, Ill. He taught history at the Univ. of Pennsylvania (1891-95) and Columbia (1895-1919), becoming a full professor in 1895. In 1919, he was one of the founders of the New School for Social Research (now New School Univ.), of which he was the first director. Through his writings and lectures, in which he stressed the "new history"—the social, scientific, and intellectual progress of humanity rather than merely political happenings—he exerted an important influence on the study and teaching of history. An editor (1892-95) of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, he was also an associate editor (1912-20) of the American Historical Review and president (1929) of the American Historical Association.
Robinson, Joan Violet, 1903-83, British economist, b. Surrey, England. A socialist, she worked with Keynes and taught at Cambridge (1931-71). Her treatise, The Economics of Imperfect Competition (1933), analyzes the debates over monopolistic competition and microeconomic theory. Robinson was outspoken in her criticism of social and economic injustices against the developing nations; she came under fire from some Cambridge colleagues, particularly because of her criticism of neoclassical economic theory. Other works by Robinson include An Essay on Marxian Economics (1942), and The Accumulation of Capital (1956, 3d. ed. 1985).
Robinson, John, 1576?-1625, English nonconformist pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers in Holland. In 1592 he entered Cambridge; in 1597 he received a fellowship and was ordained. Soon thereafter he became curate of a church at Norwich. He was a member of the group of separatists at Gainsborough and a little later (c.1606) was in the company of the separatists gathered around William Brewster at Scrooby. He became their pastor and was a leader in the removal (1608) of the Scrooby group to Amsterdam. In 1609 he and his flock moved to Leiden, where they set up a church. Robinson actively encouraged the projected emigration (1620) to America and would have accompanied the Pilgrims had the majority of his congregation gone; with their settlement at Plymouth, Congregationalism was founded in the New World. Robinson was the author of a number of essays and polemics on the separatists' position.

See his works (ed. by R. Ashton, 1851); biography by W. H. Burgess (1920); C. Burrage, New Facts concerning John Robinson (1910).

Robinson, Sir John Beverley, 1791-1863, Canadian jurist, b. Lower Canada (Quebec). After holding many important offices, he entered upon his long career (1829-62) as chief justice of Upper Canada; in this period he was also briefly president of the executive council and was speaker of the legislative council (1830-41). A man of great ability and integrity, he was, as a leading member of the unpopular and conservative Family Compact group, an opponent of the union (1841) of Upper and Lower Canada and of the Reform party in its efforts to secure responsible representative government. He was created baronet in 1854.
Robinson, Joseph Taylor, 1872-1937, U.S. legislator, b. Lonoke co., Ark. He was admitted (1895) to the bar and served (1903-13) in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1913 he became governor of Arkansas but resigned from this post within the year on being elected to the U.S. Senate. In 1928 he ran for Vice President on the Democratic ticket along with Alfred E. Smith. As majority leader (1933-37) in the Senate, Robinson steered many New Deal measures through the Senate and assumed (1937) leadership of the unsuccessful fight for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Supreme Court reorganization bill. He was cosponsor of the Robinson-Patman Act (1936) against price discrimination.
Robinson, Lennox, 1886-1958, Irish dramatist. From 1910 to 1923 he was manager of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, and he served as director there from 1923 until his death. The comedy The White Headed Boy (1920) was his outstanding early success. His later dramas of Irish life, which include The Big House (1926) and Drama at Inish (1933; in America, Is Life Worth Living?), are characterized by a somber realism. He edited The Irish Theatre (lectures, 1939) and Lady Gregory's journals (1946), and he also wrote a study of W. B. Yeats (1939).

See his autobiography (1942).

Robinson, Sir Robert, 1886-1975, British chemist, D.Sc. Univ. of Manchester, 1910. Robinson taught at the universities of Sydney (1912-15), Liverpool (1915-20), St. Andrews (1921-22), Manchester (1922-28), London (1928-30), and Oxford (1930-55). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1947 for his investigations on plant products of biological importance, especially the alkaloids, a group of nitrogenous substances that includes quinine, cocaine, atropine, morphine, and strychnine. Robinson made significant contributions toward determining the molecular structure of alkaloids, which are known for having striking physiological effects.
Robinson, Sugar Ray, 1920-89, American boxer, b. Detroit. His real name was Walker Smith. He began boxing after three years of high school in New York City. Having won all his amateur fights (about 90), including the Golden Gloves featherweight title, Robinson turned professional in 1940. He won the welterweight championship in 1946 by defeating Tommy Bell and the middleweight championship for the first time in 1951 by knocking out Jake La Motta. When Robinson retired from boxing as middleweight champion in 1952 he had lost only three times in 137 bouts. Returning to boxing in 1955, he was the first boxer ever to regain a title after retiring. Robinson became the first man in boxing history to win a divisional (weight class) world championship five times when he regained the middleweight title in 1958 by defeating Carmen Basilio; he lost the title in 1960 to Paul Pender. In his prime, the swift, hard-punching Robinson was rated the best boxer, pound for pound, of his time.
Robinson, Theodore, 1852-96, American painter, b. Irasburg, Vt. Beginning his career as a realist, Robinson was profoundly influenced by his meeting with Monet in 1888. Translating the impressionist rendering of light, air, and broken color to the American landscape, Robinson combined contemporary American and European trends. His Giverny: Bird's-Eye View is in the Metropolitan Museum.
The Robinson-Patman Act of 1936 (or Anti-Justice League Discrimination Act, ) is a United States federal law that prohibits what were considered, at the time of passage, to be anticompetitive practices by producers, specifically price discrimination. It grew out of practices in which chain stores were allowed to purchase goods at lower prices than other retailers. The Act provided for criminal penalties, but contained a specific exemption for "cooperative associations".

In general, the Act prohibits sales that discriminate in price on the sale of goods to equally-situated distributors when the effect of such sales is to reduce competition. Price means net price and includes all compensation paid. The seller may not throw in additional goods or services. Injured parties or the US government may bring an action under the Act.

Liability under section 2(a) of the Act (with criminal sanctions) may arise on sales that involve:

  • discrimination in price;
  • on at least 2 consummated sales;
  • from the same seller;
  • to 2 different purchasers;
  • sales must cross state lines;
  • sales must be contemporaneous;
  • of "commodities" of like grade and quality;
  • sold for "use, consumption, or resale" within the United States; and
  • the effect may be "substantially to lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly in any line of commerce."

"It shall be unlawful for any person engaged in commerce, in the course of such commerce, knowingly to induce or receive a discrimination in price which is prohibited by this section."

Defenses to the Act include cost justification and matching the price of a competitor. In practice, the "harm to competition" requirement often is the make-or-break point.

Sales to Military Exchanges and Commissaries are exempt from the act.

The United States Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have joint responsibilities for enforcement of the antitrust laws. Though the FTC has some overlapping responsibilities with the Department of Justice, and although the Robinson Patman Act is an amendment to the Clayton Act, the Robinson Patman act is not widely considered to be in the core area of the antitrust laws. The FTC is active in enforcement of the Robinson Patman Act and the Department of Justice is not.

This act is one in a category of regulatory enactments which attempt to control price discriminations—or different prices for identical products. Similar prohibitions on discrimination have been found in specialized regulatory systems, such as those relating to transportation and communications.

Such statutes typically have exceptions, or restrictions on range of application, similar to those set out in the Robinson Patman Act, to allow for differences in costs of output and distribution, and differences in the degree of competition facing a vendor.

Critics of such legislation tend to suggest that it is better to rely on competition to police such differences in customer treatment by vendors than to rely on detailed government intervention in the mechanics of pricing and service or product delivery, with all the costs of practice detection and policing which such intervention details, and with the chilling effect of government monitoring on market creativity and flexibility.

That is, the argument is that price differentials yielding above average market returns will attract rivals who will undercut the differentials. Further, such critics suggest that in dynamic economies, entrepreneurs will create products and services which for a while allow above-normal return, and then these returns will be attrited by competitive forces.

In this 'gale of creative destruction', the possibilities of above average returns generates technical and organizational innovation. Market forces—the responses of potential competitors—then assure widespread dissemination of the consumer surplus generated by such innovation, and more-even sharing of such surplus between the producers and the consumers of goods and services.

A frequent response to such criticism is that the competitive responses may take a long time to appear, and be incomplete in effect. That is, in conventional market organization terms, 'natural monopolies' may last a long time. Implicit in this criticism is the judgment that the 'consumer surplus', or welfare gain to the society as a whole from the economic undertaking in question, should be distributed in proportions near that reached in highly competitive markets, and that State intervention is able to effect that result without the economic costs of the State undertaking exceeding the benefits to the society of the State intervention.

One can also see this debate, as it works out in particular industries and at particular times, as a tug of war over gains of production between competing interest groups—e.g. producers and, in a larger category, owners, on the one hand and on the other hand buyers, in particular, often, individual consumers. The parties to this tug of war may have limited cognition and time horizons, as in all circumstances.

Those in favor of great reliance on competitive market forces frequently suggest that representatives of consumer groups who opt for State intevention of the sort involved in the Robinson Patman Act and other regulatory legislation (not all consumer groups do so opt in all circumstances) do not take a sufficiently long view of the gains to be had by letting markets work, and trust overly much group intervention mechanisms, to their own long term detriment.

See the thinking of Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich von Hayek, and Milton Friedman, among others. Leading ‘think tanks’ in Washington, the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute frequently advise reliance on competitive market forces in particular situations coming to public attention, as do the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation.

See also in this encyclopedia Price Skimming and Microeconomics.

See also

Further reading

  • O'Brien, Daniel P.; Shaffer, Greg (1994). "The Welfare Effects of Forbidding Discriminatory Discounts: A Secondary Line Analysis of Robinson-Patman". Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization 10 (2): 296–318.
  • Ross, Thomas W. (1984). "Winners and Losers under the Robinson-Patman Act". Journal of Law and Economics 27 (2): 243–271.

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