Robyn Blumner

On this date in 1961, Robyn Blumner was born in New York City. She grew up in Glen Cove, N.Y. She graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations in 1982, and New York University School of Law in 1985. She worked as a labor lawyer in New York and volunteered for the American Civil Liberties Union after graduation, becoming executive director of the Utah ACLU from 1987 to 1989, and the Florida ACLU from 1989 to 1997. She has since worked as a columnist for The St. Petersburg Times in Florida, and serves as a member of the editorial board. Her weekly column is nationally syndicated by Tribune Media Services. Blumner often writes about issues of civil liberties, workers' rights, and the separation of church and state. Blumner openly declared her atheism in several of her columns. She was awarded the Freedom From Religion Foundation's Emperor Has No Clothes Award in 2004 for her plain speaking on religion and the First Amendment. Blumner is now the president and CEO for the Center for Inquiry, and the executive director for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. 

“My faith is in mankind and the marvels accomplished by human ingenuity and drive. Why that makes me a pariah to [Tampa City Council member Kevin] White and others like him is beyond my ken. It certainly says more about them than me.”

—Robyn Blumner in “I'm an atheist — so what?” in The St. Petersburg Times, Aug. 8, 2004

Compiled by Eleanor Wroblewski; Photo by Brent Nicastro

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