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Robert Alexander Ellison


Robert A. Ellison, 90, law professor and former New York City police detective, died May 13 at Tandem Health Care in Melbourne, FL, after a brief illness. He had lived in Melbourne for four years.
Mr. Ellison was born in Winnsboro, South Carolina. When he was seven, his family moved to New York City. He graduated from John Adams High School and attended City College, from which he graduated in 1941. He received his law degree in 1952 from Brooklyn Law School.
He served with the New York City Police Department as a patrol officer and detective, at the 28th Precinct in Harlem, where his friends and associates included Jackie Robinson, Malcolm X, Thurgood Marshall, Langston Hughes and many renowned jazz musicians of the period.
In 1966, he was recruited to the position of Commissioner of Public Safety for the U.S. Virgin Islands, heading up the police, fire and safety divisions in St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John. He subsequently served as Assistant Attorney General of the Virgin Islands, until leaving for California to accept a teaching position in the California State University at Long Beach.
Upon his retirement, he returned to St. Croix where he had a private practice as a mediator. He moved to Florida in 1999, where he was active in local government and became a member of the Universalist Unitarian Church in West Melbourne.
His first wife, Harriet Munroe Ellison, died in 1992.
Survivors include his second wife, Vivian Ellison of Melbourne, FL; two sons from his first marriage, Robert M. Ellison of Washington, DC and Charles A. Ellison of Staten Island, NY; two grandsons, Robert M. Ellison Jr. of Ashburn, VA and Michael D. Ellison of Detroit, MI; two granddaughters, Michelle E. Ellison of Reston, VA and Sherri N. Ellison, of Detroit; and four great-granddaughters, Briana and Jessica Ellison of Ashburn, VA, Egjiip Ellison of Detroit and Angel Ellison of Washington, DC.


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