8.03.2004

Alzheimer's robbing Robinson


More on Eddie Robinson, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, which we covered in an earlier post:


Eddie Robinson shuffles into the room, hunched over a cane - a shadow of the charismatic coach who made little Grambling State University famous.

Then he catches the eye of a visitor, and a familiar smile lights his face, just as it always has.

"I feel good," Robinson said, before drifting off into silence.

The smile is almost all that remains of one of the greatest coaches in college football history.

Once the most ebullient of men, Robinson has become quiet and distant as Alzheimer's disease isolates him from all that was once important to him.

Robinson, 85, now sits quietly, answering questions with short replies or looks of consternation.

He retired in 1997 as the winningest coach in college football history with 408 victories at Grambling. Shortly after his 56-year coaching career at the historically Black school ended, symptoms of the disease began to show.

"He just didn't feel too well," his wife, Doris, said. "Then it was like he was just slipping away. Every day a little more was gone."



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