'Mr. Northern Kentucky' attorney Bill Robinson III has died at 72

Robinson is former airport chair, Tri-Ed founder

FLORENCE, Ky. -- A prominent Northern Kentucky figure has died after a battle with lung cancer, according to a statement from the bar association.

Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III, died Tuesday after a battle with lung cancer, an article from the American Bar Association Journal said. He was 72.

Robinson was member-in-charge of the Florence office of Frost Todd Brown law firm. He also spent time as chairman of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport Board. He co-founded Tri-Ed -- the Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corporation -- in 1987.

Current bar association President Linda Klein said Robinson "had deep and proud roots in the state of Kentucky" and he "will be missed by the entire ABA family and legal community."

"Robinson's dedication to service to the region earned him more distinctions and regard than can possibly be mentioned in full," the ABA's obituary said. "Call him 'Mr. Northern Kentucky' and everyone will know the reference."

Robinson was a graduate of Thomas More College and University of Kentucky College of Law, the ABA said. He was scheduled to receive an honorary doctorate from Thomas More this weekend.

"Never too busy to help out a friend, Robinson was an indefatigable champion of the rule of law and an independent judiciary," Klein said. "Robinson was always positive and optimistic, evidenced by his trademark phrase 'upward and onward,' which he often used to end his columns and messages."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent condolences for Robinson, whom he called '"a dear friend."

“Bill was a champion for the judiciary and served in numerous (roles) in the American Bar Association, including as President," McConnell said. "Known for his warmth and positivity, he left behind many who were touched by his kindness. Elaine and I send our condolences to his wife, Joan, his friends, and his family.”

Robinson's wife, Joan, asked that anyone who wants to memorialize Bill donate to the Redwood School in Ft. Mitchell. "This is a special charity to him and he has been involved in it for 50 years," she said.

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