Community Heroes: Late Tennessee state senator remembered as public servant

ABC Tri-Cities

ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) Each week, we introduce you to someone who makes our region a better place to live. We call them, Community Heroes.

This week, we introduce you to the late, Tennessee Senator, Herman Robinson.

The late state senator, Herman Robinson, was known to put an emphasis in public service. He covered four counties while in his position: Carter, Greene, Johnson, Unicoi, and Washington Counties.

“He always had a passion to help other people. That shows, I think, in what he did in the legislature,” Herman Robinson’s son, Bob Robinson said.

He overcame the odds of not being able to walk until the age of 10, because he was born with cerebral palsy.

Robinson said, “He overcame odds and perseverance and I hope I can continue to do that as long as I live.”

However, Robinson did not allow his stumbles to pave his future.

In 1949, he campaigned with his son, Bob Robinson, for a seat in the Tennessee Senate. Once he was sworn in, he started his vision for improving education in Tennessee.

“He saw the need for vocational education back before that was really the in thing, and he came up with an idea to have vocational education to provide access for folks to learn trades,” WBEJ program and operations manager, David Miller said.

David Miller, pictured here, is the program and operations manager at WBEJ. He remembers Herman Robinson as a public servant.

Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Elizabethton even named the Skills Building after him, in 1965.

David Miller said, “I only wish that he could have lived long enought to see where TCAT is now.”

TCAT branches across the state have allowed students to continue their education working in trades.

Miller said, “As it’s turned out, the state has 27 of them. His original idea was to have one every fifty miles from Mountain City to Memphis. He took that idea and made it flourish. He did it without being self-serving.”

If you know someone who makes our community a better place to live, we want to hear from you! Nominate them to be an ABC Tri-Cities Community Hero! Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to nominate them.

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