Robb’s passionate interest in children’s literature led her more than 50 years ago to volunteer to read to children in hospitals, where she discovered that many children wanted and needed books so badly that hospital staff let them take home the books she brought to read. This experience prompted her involvement in 1968 to become a founding member of the Board Reading is Fundamental and worked on the board until 2013.
From 1996 until 2001, she served as the Chairman of the RIF Board of Directors. She has traveled nationwide to rally community and business support for RIF programs and to meet with the local volunteers who operate RIF programs. “My fellow RIF volunteers tell me that they are motivated today by the same reward I’ve been fortunate enough to experience since RIF’s early days—the look on children’s faces when they’re selecting RIF books or when someone is reading to them and the deep satisfaction of helping children develop a love for reading that will serve them throughout their lives,” she said.
Robb fondly lists her current profession as “professional volunteer”. She has served many organizations, focusing on the condition of children and women especially on health and education. In addition to her work on behalf of RIF, she is president of the National Home Library Foundation. She also is a member of the board of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation which supports the LBJ Library and School.
She has served as a member of the Selection Board of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. Among of 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.
She attended George Washington University and is an honors graduate of the University of Texas, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. In 1992, she was inducted in the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Alpha Chapter of the District of Columbia. She received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Washington and Lee University and an honorary Doctor of Public Service from Norwich University. She is the recipient of numerous civic awards and honors.
Robb is the daughter of President Lyndon Baines Johnson and Claudia Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson. She is married to former Virginia Governor and U.S. Senator Charles S. Robb, is the mother of three daughters, and has five grandchildren.