Robinson was born in the year 1921 and the location of his birth is the source of debate. In some places, his birthplace has been registered as Ailey Georgia and in his autobiography, the birthplace of Robinson has been registered as Detroit Michigan. What comes out as the fact is that Robinson upbringing has been done in Detroit only. His father and mother name was Walker Smith Sr, and Leila Hurst, respectively. Robinson was the youngest and only son among other children of the couple. By occupation, his father was a farmer of peanut, corn, and cotton. Later, his family moved to Detroit for the purpose of the construction business. In the construction field, his father wants to take work of cement mixer.
The dark phase came in the life of Robinson, when his mother along with him and his other two sisters, got separated from his father and to New York. Till this time, Robinson was just 11 years old. His family faced the rough time in New York. To get an apartment, Robinson helped his mother by earning as a change dancer for strangers at Time Square. Single and alone mother made her own way, but she was fearful for her son to get trap into the shady world. Her mother made her way to the Salem Methodist Episcopal Church, where they met a man named George Gainford. The George Gainford had newly started a boxing club. This was the first time when the star of boxing has met with the word “boxing” and its other paraphernalia. Robinson becomes the neighbor of heavyweight champion of Detroit, named Joe Louis. Due to the close connection with the champion of heavy weight, he acquired fighting gloves and other related stuff. This is the beginning of an emerging start of boxing.