ROBINSON, EDWIN "TED" MEADE (1 Nov. 1878-20 Sept. 1946), conductor of Cleveland's most prestigious contributors' column in the PLAIN DEALER, was born in Lima, Ind., son of William E. and Alice Drake Meade Robinson. He graduated from Wabash College in 1900 and worked briefly for papers in Indianapolis before joining the CLEVELAND LEADER in 1905, beginning a column called "Just by the Way." He moved to the Plain Dealer in 1910, and under the heading "Philosopher of Folly," combined his own light verse and wry commentary with similar fare from regular contributors writing under such noms de plume as "Prof. Si N. Tific," "Homo Seidel," "N. Deavor," and "Sue Burbanite." Eventually more than 600 volunteer writers saw their contributions printed in Robinson's column, their only other reward being an invitation to an annual contributors' dinner hosted by Robinson from ca. 1912-38.
Robinson's poetry included 2 volumes of verse, Mere Melodies (1918) and Pipings and Pannings (1921). He also wrote the novel Enter Jerry (1922). At the Plain Dealer, Robinson became an associate editor as well as the literary editor after 1922. Throughout the 1930s, he lectured on language and philology at Cleveland College.
Robinson married Martha Coon in 1909. Their only child, Ted Robinson, Jr., later was a contributing editor for Time magazine. Robinson died on vacation at Provincetown, Mass. A poem he had written to appear in his column the following morning bore the recurring refrain, "The Autumn comes—and I must go!" He was buried with his parents in Brooklyn, Conn.