Special to the Parade
The San Benito Historical Society will celebrate the Charles M. Robinson III on Sunday, May 19, at 2 p.m. at the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center on Stenger Street in San Benito.
Robinson, who lived most of his life in San Benito and served as the editor of the San Benito News, was a world-renown historian who wrote over 20 books covering several topics.
His two best-known books are “The Men Who Wear the Star,” a history of the Texas Rangers, and “A Good Year to Die,” which chronicles the Sioux Indian war from its beginning in 1862 to the tragic surrender near the Canadian border in 1877.
Most of Robinson’s books will be on display and some will be for sale. Information on his books, which are now available on Kindle (Amazon), will be offered as well as assistance in finding more of Robinson’s work.
For more information, call Lee at (956) 517-4555.
Perhaps best known for his stints heading editorial departments at local newspapers, Robinson authored 24 books chronicling the American old west. Enamored with the subject, his friend Charlie Wilson remembers Robinson’s love for history and adventure.
“I have a World War I Springfield Army rifle, and I willed that to (Robinson) because he came over one time and wanted to shoot it,” Charlie Wilson said, noting further that he and Robinson served as presidents of the San Benito Rotary Club. It wasn’t until 1983 – when Charlie Wilson joined the club – when the two met.
Others recall Robinson as a man with “exceptional intelligence” who, despite dropping out of high school at 17 to work as a crewman on a Norwegian cargo ship, earned Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in history from Saint Edwards University in Austin and the University of Texas Pan-American in Edinburg, respectively. Additionally, Robinson later worked as a history instructor at South Texas College in McAllen.
“He had exceptional intelligence and a photographic memory. I was always fascinated with that,” said Martha McClain, who as the editor of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, the sister paper of the News and South Padre Parade, occasionally crossed paths with Robinson. “One thing I remember most about Charlie is his depth of knowledge about the history of the city and the state of Texas. He was such a colorful character and just a really great guy – a heck of a guy!”