Robinson was born May 1, 1939 in Richmond, Virginia. He attended several colleges and briefly served in the United States Air Force before receiving a medical discharge. Robinson began his television career in 1959 in Portsmouth, Virginia where he had to read the news while hidden behind a slide of the station logo to conceal his race.
One night, Robinson had the slide removed and he was fired the next day. In 1969, Robinson joined the “Eyewitness News” team in Washington, D.C., becoming the first black television anchor in D.C. From 1978 to 1983, Robinson was the Chicago based co-anchor of “ABC World News.” Robinson was a founder of the National Association of Black Journalists in 1975.