Robert Lee Marshall



Robert (Tank) Marshall was born on June 28, 1922 in Cumberland County, VA to his adoptive parents Mr. and Mrs. Wirt and Betsy Marshall both of whom are deceased. He had one adoptive sister also deceased, Nina Simmons.

Robert dropped out of high school to enlist in the United States Army during WWII where he was stationed in the South Pacific. While there, he spent time boxing throughout the Philippines Island, Papua New Guinea and Australia where he earned the nickname “Tank” and was awarded the United States Army 1944 Golden Glove champion. After his enlistment he returned to complete his senior year of high school (Armstrong High School) where he played football and lettered. He continued his education and football career at VA Union University.

Robert spent the majority of his life working with the youth throughout Richmond, VA. He was instrumental in bringing the sport of boxing to the city of Richmond which he used as a tool for desegregation during the late 60s. He had the honor of Cassius Clay “aka Mohammad Ali”, visiting his boxing gym during his tour throughout the south promoting the sport of boxing.

On January 26, 2017, he passed away peacefully at Mary Washington Hospital surrounded by family.

He is preceded in death by his elder son Roland Trent Marshall. He is survived by his wife Barbara L. Marshall, four sons (Norville, Cullen Sr., Lynn and Kelvin), three daughters (Melissa, Rosalia and Linda), 18 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.