Jack E. Robinson III

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Jack E. Robinson III
Born (1960-05-12)May 12, 1960
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died November 20, 2017(2017-11-20) (aged 57)
Duxbury, Massachusetts, U.S.
Alma mater Brown University
Harvard University
Political party Republican (Before 2013)
Independent (2013–2017)

Jack Errol Robinson III (May 12, 1960 – November 20, 2017) was an African-American Republican politician from Massachusetts. He ran for the United States Senate in 2000 against Ted Kennedy (Democratic) and Carla Howell (Libertarian), losing to Kennedy. He ran for Secretary of the Commonwealth in 2002, losing to William F. Galvin, and for US House of Representatives in Massachusetts's 9th district in 2006, losing to Stephen Lynch. In 2009, he ran against Scott Brown in the Republican primaries for the special election to fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat, but lost to Brown in the primary.

Early life[edit]

Robinson grew up in the Roxbury section of Boston, in a family that was involved with the Republican party going back six generations.[1]

In 1975, he appeared as an extra in the film Jaws.

He attended Brown University as an undergrad, and received law and business degrees from Harvard. After graduating he worked as an executive for Eastern Airlines and left to start his own cell phone company.[2]

Business career[edit]

Robinson has worked in a variety of executive positions in the airline industry with Continental Airlines and Eastern Airlines, and became the president of Eastern Express. He also worked in the financial services industry with MasterCard International.

Robinson wrote two books on the failure of the major air carriers Eastern and Pan Am. The latter book was found to be substantially infringing on Robert Daley's book "An American Saga." In attempting to seek a declaratory judgement asserting he had not infringed, the court decided that not only was the book infringing, but Robinson had acted in bad faith in the litigation. 877 F.Supp 830 (S.D.N.Y 1995).

Later he entered the wireless telecom industry, where he founded a digital cellular company in the Caribbean—Oceanic Digital Communications (later sold to Mexican businessman Carlos Slim), and traveled to many developing countries, including Pakistan and Afghanistan, seeking to build cellular networks in those countries.

He was general counsel of Benistar, a third-party administrator of employer health and welfare benefit plans. At the time of his death he was in private practice.[3]

Political philosophy[edit]

Robinson supported free trade and lower personal and capital gains taxes on the wealthy as well as gay rights (including same-sex marriage)[4] and alternative energy initiatives (including the Cape Wind Energy Project). He positioned himself as an entrepreneur, attorney, and business leader combining a rags to riches personal story with experience solving business problems and creating jobs. When running for office, he promised to create jobs, cut wasteful government spending, prevent job-killing tax increases, eliminate the multiple-trillion dollars of U.S. debt, and fix the U.S. economy.


On November 20, 2017, Robinson died at his Duxbury home.[5][6]

Candidate for office[edit]

United States Senate, 2000[edit]

It was during this election that Robinson got a level of notoriety when he got into an automobile accident while conducting an interview on his cell phone. The NPR Car Talk show featuring this incident pointed out that Ted Kennedy wasn't the best driver either, referring to the Chappaquiddick incident.

United States Senate election in Massachusetts, 2000
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Edward M. Kennedy 1,889,494 72.69 +14.62
Republican Jack E. Robinson III 334,341 12.86 -28.15
Libertarian Carla Howell 308,860 11.88 +11.22
Constitution Philip F. Lawler 42,113 1.62 +1.62
Independent Dale E. Friedgen 13,687 0.53 +0.53
Timesizing Not Downsizing Philip Hyde III 8,452 0.33 +0.33
All others 2,473 0.10 +0.07
Total votes 2,599,420 64.84

Secretary of the Commonwealth, 2002[edit]

Massachusetts Secretary of State Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic William F. Galvin 1,472,562 73.97
Republican Jack E. Robinson III 516,260 25.93
Write-in 1,832 0.09
Turnout 1,990,654
Democratic hold Swing

United States Congress, 2006 (9th District)[edit]

Robinson received 25.71% of the vote against incumbent Congressman Stephen Lynch.

U.S. Senate, 2013[edit]

Robinson announced that he was running as an Independent in the special election to finish John Kerry's term.[7] However, he did not make the ballot.

Published works[edit]

  • Freefall: The Needless Destruction of Eastern Air Lines and the Valiant Struggle to Save It (Harpercollins, 1992) ISBN 0-88730-556-3
  • American Icarus: The Majestic Rise and Tragic Fall of Pan Am (American Literary Press, 1994) ISBN 978-1561671540.


  1. ^ Lambert, Lane (December 23, 2009). "Jack E. Robinson opens up about his family history, personal heroes". The Patriot Ledger. Gatehouse Media, Inc. Retrieved June 20, 2015. 
  2. ^ Goldberg, Carey (March 25, 2000). "Campaign by Confession in Bid for Kennedy's Senate Seat". New York Times. Retrieved February 4, 2013. 
  3. ^ legacy.com. The Boston Globe http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/bostonglobe/obituary.aspx?n=jack-e-robinson&pid=187309711&fhid=29013. Retrieved 22 November 2017.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ Ring, Dan (December 1, 2009). "'Anti-establishment' candidate, Jack E. Robinson, hopes to win Republican nomination for Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy". MassLive. Retrieved June 20, 2015. 
  5. ^ Phillips, Frank. "Jack E. Robinson, frequent GOP candidate, found dead in Duxbury". www.bostonglobe.com. The Boston Globe. 
  6. ^ Phillips, Frank. "Jack E. Robinson, frequent GOP candidate, found dead in Duxbury". www.bostonglobe.com. The Boston Globe. 
  7. ^ Associated Press (February 4, 2013). "Ex-GOP candidate Jack E. Robinson seeks independent run for Senate". MassLive.com. Retrieved February 4, 2013. 

External links[edit]