Robert Vincent Martin, Jr., was born in Savannah on July 11, 1915, to Dr. Robert Vincent Martin and Annie Phoebe Dunwoody Martin. He graduated from Savannah High School and then Clemson Military College in 1936, with a commission as a Second Lieutenant. He attended the University of Georgia for a postgraduate degree.
In 1940, Mr. Martin was called to active duty at Fort Stewart and, during World War II served in the Southwest Pacific Theater in Australia and New Guinea. He received the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct at the Battle of Milne Bay in New Guinea, August 25 – September 7, 1942. He rose to the rank of captain before returning to Savannah in 1945.
Robert Martin married Julia Groves Martin in 1945, and they had five children, Evelyn, Vincent III, Julia, Catherine, and Walker.
Robert began his career with the Texas Company before joining Colonial Oil in 1949, where he worked as Vice President of Marketing until his retirement in 1980.
He was actively involved in the civic and social life of Savannah, serving as president of the Georgia Historical Society, the St. Andrews Society, the Oglethorpe Club, and the Georgia Oil Jobbers Association. He also served on the boards of Sun Trust Bank, Savannah Country Day School, the Savannah Science Museum, the Savannah Red Cross, and the Harper Fowlkes House. He was a charter member of the Georgia Trust.
He also served as governor of the Georgia Society of Colonial Wars and was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati.
Mr. Martin died on November 22, 2003, age 88, and Mrs. Julia Martin died on March 2, 2016, age 95. They are buried in Greenwich Cemetery in Savannah.
In 1996, Mr. Martin established the Robert V. Martin, Jr. Fund at the Georgia Historical Society, ensuring in perpetuity that his commitment to Georgia history education will continue.