Robert was born and raised in Winnetka, Illinois, although he spent some of his childhood in Germany. He earned his master’s degree from Columbia University and his Ph.D. at Northwestern University in 1975.
Robert’s career as an educator began in 1964. In the early years of his teaching career, Robert taught fifth grade at Staten Island Academy in Staten Island, New York. He later relocated to Highland Park High School in Chicago. About thirty-five years ago he began working at the Glencoe Study Center, which he opened in 1979 to tutor high school dropouts who were seeking their GED. Robert founded outreach programs that emphasized developing the writing skills of inner-city students, particularly those who have not been successful in traditional educational settings.
In 1991, Robert founded a scholarship organization called the Young Chicago Authors, with the mission of encouraging teenagers to write. The program currently serves more than 5,000 teen authors each year. For this work, Robert was named “Chicagoan of the Year” by Chicago Magazine. In 2009, he was honored with an award from the Coming Up Taller Leadership Enhancement Conference at a White House event hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama.
Robert is the author of several books and textbooks, including Hack: The Meteoric Life of One of Baseball’s First Superstars: Hack Wilson (1978), Moe’s Cafe (2007), Forest High (2011), Back to Forest High (2015), and the acclaimed Inside Job: A Life of Teaching (2003).
Robert currently lives in Glencoe, Illinois, and has been married to his wife, Sue, for forty-six years. The marriage has produced three children and five grandchildren.
To check out Robert’s web site, simply click on this link: Writing Teacher Hangout.