Willie Ivy Robinson was born on March 20, 1923, in Norfield, Lincoln County, Mississippi. He was the oldest son of Thornton Edgar Robinson and Narsis Bailey Robinson. In 1942, Willie married Lenora Amos, daughter of Frank Amos and Leah Arnold Amos. He and Lenora were the parents of Willie Edgar Lee Robinson. Willie entered the United States Army and served in Europe during World War II. In 1950, Willie married Mary Mixon, daughter of Samson Mixon and Pearl Beachman Mixon. He and Mary were the parents of daughter Shirley Marie Robinson. Willie later married Cassie B. Williamson, daughter of Augusta Williamson and Mary Poe Williamson. Willie died on September 26, 2000, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and he is buried at the National Cemetery in Union Grove, Racine County, Wisconsin.