Inducted November 14, 1986
Robert W. Lee, currently resides in Fanwood, NJ, and has been living in and around Scotch Plains-Fanwood vicinity all of his life. He was graduated from the Scotch Plains-Fanwood school system and attended City College of New York, as well as Fairleigh Dickinson University in Florham Park, NJ. He and his wife, Shirley, are the parents of four children.
For six years, Mr. Lee served as Deputy State Athletic Commissioner of New Jersey, under former Heavyweight Champion of the World, Jersey Joe Walcott, After Mr. Walcott’s retirement in January 1983, Mr. Lee served as Acting Commissioner of the State Athletic Commission for one and one half years. In those capacities, Mr. Lee helped to guide New Jersey toward becoming the boxing capital of the United States and possibly the world. He has been credited with making many positive changes in the state’s boxing programs for the betterment of the sport that have been adopted by other jurisdictions and hailed as revolutionary in the industry.
From 1980-1982, Mr. Lee held the post of 2nd Vice President of the World Boxing Association, making him the highest ranking member of that world body on the continent. During 1982, Boxing Today, a national publication, named Mr. Lee as one of the four top officials in boxing and even called for his appointment as a National Commissioner of boxing.
During 1982, Mr. Lee sought to bring the presidency of the World Boxing Association back to the United States where it had not been for over nine years. Being narrowly defeated (by nine votes), Mr. Lee did not seek re-election to the vice presidency, but elected to divert his energies toward strengthening the United States Boxing Association of which he was and is the President .. In 1983, the USBA added an international division, that has since become known as the International Boxing Federation, that Mr. Lee also presides over.
Mr. Lee is the first American, since 1973, to have ever run for the position of president of an international boxing organization and the first American to have been elected to the post of president of an international boxing organizat-ion since 1973.
As President of the IBF /USBA, Mr. Lee is recognized worldwide as a leader in the boxing field and his efforts have been the catalyst for many a young boxer to get rated and box for championships nationally and internationally. Largely through Mr. Lee’s efforts, officiating changes have been made in world class boxing and some of these changes have filtered down to. state and other commissions. When speaking of the progressive course that boxing must follow and of knowledgeable people in the sport, without question the one voice that is clear and incisive is that of Robert W. Lee.
Mr. Lee has been active in the political arena, as well as in the area of civic involvement, He has served on the Board of Managers at John E. Runnells Hospital in Berkeley Heights, NJ; the Fanwood Planning Board; the Scotch Plains Recreation Commission; the Union County Psychiatric Clinic; the Union County Metal Health Board: the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Human Rights Council: the Union County Urban League Board; and, the American Cancer Society.