Margaret Ann Craig Robinson Dies at 92

Robinson was instrumental in building of the Downtown Public Library

Margaret Ann Craig Robinson, a champion of the Nashville Public Library system, died in her home Monday.

She was 92.

Robinson, who was named the Nashville Scene‘s Nashvillian Of The Year in 2001, joined the board of the library in 1977. She was appointed by then-Mayor Dick Fulton, and later told the Scene: “I told Mayor Fulton that I really hadn’t had much of an opportunity to think about the library or even read much in recent years, what with raising four children and everything,” says Robinson, who speaks with the kind of Nashville accent unique to old society (much like her cousin, state Sen. Douglas Henry). “But he told me that he wanted me on the board because I knew how to run a budget, which was true. So I did it.”

Robinson was successful in lobbying Metro Council on a proposal to fund a $115 million library system upgrade under Mayor Phil Bredesen’s in 1997, which included the construction of 300,000-square-foot downtown library as well as five new branches and renovations to three existing library branches.

In the Scene’s story naming her Nashvillian Of The Year, then at-large councilman Leo Waters said Robinson was not a typical lobbyist.

“It was pretty interesting to see someone like Margaret Ann Robinson lobbying the Metro Council,” Waters said.

She also served in several other capacities, including on the board of the Grassmere Nature Center (now called the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere), on the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens Planning Committee and was a longtime member of the Junior League of Nashville. She and her husband Walter also helped to found The Ensworth School in 1958.

Robinson was the granddaughter of Cornelius Abernathy Craig, a founder of National Life and Accident Insurance Company, and while her father was at the helm of the company, it created WSM Radio and Television and the Grand Ole Opry. Her husband also served as the CEO the company, and under his leadership it launched Opryland, the Opryland Hotel and the General Jackson.

Robinson’s visitation will be at her home at 540 Belle Meade Boulevard from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, April 6. Funeral services are slated for 11:30 a.m. on Friday, April 7, 2017 at St. George’s Episcopal Church. She will be laid to rest at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

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