Robert M. “Robin” Tallon, Jr. (b. 1946)
Papers, c. 1981-1992, 29 ft.
A native of Hemingway, S.C., at the age of eighteen Tallon opened his first clothing store, Robin’s, in Florence. President Jimmy Carter appointed Tallon to the White House Conference on Small Business in 1979, and Tallon has cited this as a seminal experience which led him to run for the South Carolina House in 1980.
In 1982, he ran for Congress and defeated Hicks Harwell in a bitter Democratic primary with 71% of the vote. For the general election in November, he worked with African-American church leaders to assure high African-American turnout and support, built an extensive “Get out the Vote” apparatus, and defeated incumbent Congressman John Napier.
In Congress, Tallon served on the Agriculture Committee and Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, Textile Caucus, Travel and Tourism Caucus, and Rural Health Care Coalition. Important legislation with which he is associated includes the Food, Agriculture Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990, bills related to rural development and aquaculture, and the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. He also participated in negotiations over the GATT international trade agreement.