1991 Horatio Alger Award Winner
"The thing I enjoy the most is putting underprivileged high school graduates through college."
The son of an immigrant who built apartment buildings, Al Robin was born in 1912 in Chicago. During the Depression, his father lost all his money. Determined to start over, Robin and his father opened a shoe store together. They were barely able to salvage their original investment, however, and subsequently sold the store.
Robin worked for a real estate firm until he was able to start his own business in 1935. The first job for Robin Construction Company was to build a fence for $125. The business soon progressed to developing and remodeling retail stores for many of the large chain stores throughout Chicago and the Midwest. After World War II, Robin became involved in every phase of real estate development, building single-family homes, apartment complexes, nursing homes, and shopping centers.
An avid art collector, Robin contributed $1.5 million to the Art Institute of Chicago to endow a new contemporary art gallery. The Museum of Contemporary Art also benefited from his philanthropy with a $1 million gift. His gifts to Roosevelt University resulted in the Albert Robin Campus of Roosevelt University.* Deceased