Chuck Robb: ‘In the Arena’

Charles Robb speaking

Jay Godwin / LBJ Library

Chuck Robb: ‘In the Arena’

Charles S. Robb, Lynda Johnson Robb, William Antholis, Barbara Perry

Wednesday, April 21, 2021
3:30PM - 4:30PM (EDT)
Event Details

Former U.S. Senator and Virginia Governor Chuck Robb discusses his new book, In the Arena: A Memoir of Love, War, and Politics from UVA Press. The book traces Robb's path from his early days as an anonymous Marine to his fairytale wedding to Lynda Bird Johnson, from night movements in Vietnam to engaging in the height of Democratic politics in the Virginia state capitol and U.S. Senate, and from experiencing personal highs and lows to becoming a principled fighter and exemplar of today’s moderate Democrat. Full of honest reflections, In the Arena reveals the surprisingly colorful story of Robb's career, marriage, and life.

This event is co-sponsored by the Miller Center and UVA Press.


Wednesday, April 21, 2021
3:30PM - 4:30PM (EDT)
online webinar
Chuck Robb headshot

Charles S. Robb

Charles S. Robb served as Virginia’s 64th governor from 1982 to 1986 and as a U.S. senator from 1989–2001.

In 1961, Robb was commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. It was while on assignment as a White House military social aide that he met and married Lynda Johnson, the daughter of President Lyndon Johnson. Soon after their wedding, Robb deployed to Vietnam as a company commander. After earning a UVA Law degree and practicing as an attorney, Robb was elected Virginia’s lieutenant governor in 1978 and governor four years later. In 1988, he ran for a seat in the U.S. Senate, where he served for two terms.

Since leaving the Senate, Robb served as co-chairman of the WMD Commission and as a member of the Iraq Study Group. He has also had roles at the Kennedy School at Harvard University and at the Marshall Wythe School of Law at William & Mary, George Mason University, and the U.S. Naval Academy, among many others. Recently, he served on the board and as chairman of the MITRE Corporation. 

Lynda Johnson Robb headshot

Lynda Johnson Robb

The daughter of President Lyndon Baines Johnson and Claudia Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson, Lynda Johnson Robb fondly lists her current profession as “professional volunteer,” focusing largely on the health and education of children and women. In 1968, she become a founding member of the board for Reading is Fundamental (RIF), serving until 2013, with the role of chairman from 1996 until 2001.

She is president of the National Home Library Foundation and a member of the board of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation which supports the LBJ Library and School. Her past affiliations include a presidential appointment by Jimmy Carter to serve as chair of the President’s Advisory Committee for Women (1979–1981), chair of the Virginia’s Women Cultural History Project (1982–1985),vice chair of Americans Promise, and chair of the Virginia Task Force on Infant Mortality. She also received a congressional appointment to serve as commissioner of the National Commission to Prevent Infant Mortality (1989–1996). She is currently serving on the Library of Congress Literacy Rubenstein Awards board.

Bill Antholis headshot

William Antholis

William Antholis serves as director and CEO of the Miller Center. Immediately prior, he was managing director at The Brookings Institution, and from 1995 to 1999 he served in government. At the White House, he was director of international economic affairs on the staff of the National Security Council and National Economic Council, where he served as the chief staff person for the G8 Summits in 1997 and 1998. Antholis is the author of Inside Out India and China: Local Politics Go Global and, with Strobe Talbot,Fast Forward: Ethics and Politics in the Age of Global Warming.

Barbara Perry headshot

Barbara Perry

Barbara Perry is the Gerald L. Baliles Professor and director of Presidential Studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, where she co-directs the Presidential Oral History Program. She has authored or edited 16 books on presidents, First Ladies, the Kennedy family, the Supreme Court, and civil rights and civil liberties. Perry has conducted more than 100 interviews for the George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush Oral History Projects; researched the Bill Clinton Oral History Project interviews, and directed the Edward Kennedy Oral History Project. She served as a U.S. Supreme Court fellow and has worked for both Republican and Democratic members of the Senate.