The activist and author suffered from lymphoma.
(Photo: Rutgers University Press)
Paul Robeson Jr., activist and author, died on Saturday at the age of 86 in Jersey City, New Jersey. He suffered from lymphoma, according to his daughter.
Robeson was the only child of the famed singer, actor and civil rights movement activist Paul Robeson and his wife, Eslanda Robeson. After his father's death, in 1976, he worked to preserve his father's legacy by writing books about life and creating an archive of his films and books.
Robeson was born on Nov. 2, 1927, in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Cornell University, where he received a degree in electrical engineering in 1949.
He was very vocal in criticizing the Broadway play Paul Robeson, when it debuted in 1978, as he felt it did not portray his father's full story, particularly his socialist views.
In attempt to tell what he felt was a fuller story of his father's life, Robeson published The Undiscovered Paul Robeson, An Artist's Journey, 1898-1939, in 2001, and followed with The Undiscovered Paul Robeson: Quest for Freedom, in 2010.
Robeson told The New York Times in 1993 that although his father was famous, he taught him to be his own person. “So I never remember having any need to compete with him,” Robeson said. “He gave me a sense of being my own man.”
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(Photo: AP Photo/Craig Schwartz Photography)