Black and white photo of young black man in a suit

Jim Robinson earned a journalism degree from the City University of New York (CUNY) and was later hired by F. & R. Lazarus and Company as Urban Affairs Director and as Assistant to the Vice President of Credit Sales Promotion – winning accolades for innovation in advertising and marketing from his colleagues on Madison Avenue. His journalism career included the development of the Columbus Communicator News, as well as serving as its first Editor in Chief. He has also been a columnist for numerous newspapers over the years, including the Columbus Dispatch, the Call and Post, Columbus Post, and Business First (Columbus), to name a few.

Jim Robinson’s radio career included hosting talk radio on WVKO, a weekly jazz show on WJZA, and voice overs on multiple stations. He is most notably known for his daily segment on WCKX in the 1990’s, “Rich, Black Thought.” He was quite often referred to as “The Voice.” He was instrumental in revitalizing activity around Mt. Vernon Plaza, with promotions of businesses and events at the Focal Point, during the time that the office for James T. Robinson Marketing Services (JTRMS) was located there.

"Jim taught us to give to our community first and ourselves second. He served as a member of the Federal Task for Against Drug Abuse under Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush and the Governor’s Advisory Council on Drug Abuse, advocating to treat drug abuse as an illness first and a crime second. UHURU on Nelson Rd. (a Residential Intervention and Rehabilitation Center and Halfway House for first time, nonviolent offenders) was his brainchild. He was instrumental in developing the center and bringing his vision to fruition in 1972, along with the board of Blacks Against Drugs (BAD). During its prime, it was rated number one in the state and in the top 10 in the nation.

He worked on hundreds of community campaigns with print, TV and radio commercials and PSAs. Public Issue campaigns including Jim Robinson’s Pen and ‘the Voice.’ He was a public speaker, Master of Ceremonies and coordinator for countless events and was instrumental in bringing national speakers to Columbus.

He made the Keep Columbus Beautiful Campaign the final straw in his hat, providing a voice and a bridge from City Hall to local celebrities and organizations, including the Columbus Clippers, the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Columbus Crew and The Ohio State University Buckeye Sports Teams.

He received numerous awards and honors for journalism, advertising and community service, including: CMACAO Appreciation Award (1972), Governor’s Award for Community Action (1973),1st Place Creative Award for Outstanding PR TV Commercial for Lazarus (1976) from the Columbus Advertising Federation in Chicago Advertising Federation, September 21, 1991 recognized as James T. Robinson Day, by the City of Columbus and Police Officers for Equal Rights (POER) for his decades of community service, Who’s Who In Media, Legend Award from the Columbus Association of Black Journalists (CABJ).

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