A native of Statesville, North Carolina, Robert grew up working in his parents’ grocery store, Gilleland’s Grocery. He attended UNC-Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar, graduating with a Journalism degree in 1972, after being inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and twice serving as President of Chi Phi fraternity. He married his high school sweetheart, Cathy Ross, moved to Sanford, commuted to law school at UNC-Chapel Hill and began law practice in Sanford in 1975. His two children have produced three grandchildren, which are his #1 source of amusement.
His practice areas are commercial and residential real estate, business organizations, wills, trusts, and estate administration. Robert is a past President of the Jonesboro Rotary Club and Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce. He attends First Baptist Church, where he has twice chaired the Board of Deacons, directs ushers each Sunday morning, and has taught Sunday School for over three decades. He chairs the local Advisory Council for Salvation Army, and performs with two bands, doing country vocals with Tuesday Night Music Club, plus a solid gold band, RN5P. Robert was voted Lee County’s “Best Attorney” five out of six years by a poll of readers of The Sanford Herald, before the category was retired. Robert has an “AV” rating through Martindale-Hubbell since 1999, which is the highest possible peer review rating in legal ability and ethical standards.