By Ralph E. Moore Jr.
Special to the AFRO
Robert Murphy Matthews Sr. was the great-grandson of John H. Murphy Sr., founder of the AFRO-American Newspaper. At age 75, sadly he (nicknamed Robin) died of a heart attack last week. He was co-owner and vice president of Creative Media Systems (CMS) for 28 years. CMS is described in Matthews’ bio as an information technology, telecommunications and data communications company. It markets high tech products and services to businesses and government entities.
He worked at the Baltimore AFRO, Dawn Magazine (a supplemental piece to Black newspapers) and the Washington, D.C. AFRO. Matthews took all types of jobs at the media outlets starting in the composing room doing hot type; then as a reporter and a photographer. He was known for doing advertising sales throughout the nation.
Matthews was director of business development for a year at Trygin Technologies and served as field sales representative for two years at Windstream Supply. He sold “leading edge technologies” for networks to operate with wireless, DSL (digital subscriber line) modems, VoIP (a dependable cloud communications service) and other techie stuff such as ethernet. It was people like Matthews who handled the equipment and services that kept non-technical folks in the digital age. He kept individuals and businesses up to date and informed with his work.
“Robin” Matthews graduated from Forest Park High School in Baltimore. While there, he played football and ran track. He was the eldest of five siblings: three brothers and two sisters. Since it was a family business, everyone in his family, including their parents, Vashti Murphy Matthews and Robert Murphy Matthews III, worked at the AFRO at some time or another.
Matthews graduated from Morgan State University with an undergraduate degree in psychology in 1970. While there, he edited the school newspaper, ran track and cross country as a freshman and was in the ROTC and the Honor Society. He returned to Morgan a year after he obtained his degree and took additional coursework in international marketing.
Rodger Matthews, who lives in Kansas, spoke proudly and warmly of his big brother in a recent phone interview. “He was very outgoing. Well, he was a salesman! And he could sell anything. But he listened to others, even when he held a different opinion. He loved his wife, Harriet, and his two children. Whatever the topic of conversation was, he always brought it around to talk about them. He was very proud of them. In fact, in my last conversation with Robin he spoke very fondly about his wife and children and how proud he was of them.”
Robert Matthews was a volunteer football coach for the Randallstown Optimist and a volunteer campaign captain for the Ben Jealous for Governor campaign of 2018.
He leaves to mourn his wife of 45 years, Harriet Lane, a son, Robert Murphy Matthews Jr. and a daughter, Genesta Matthews, as well as many family members, including siblings, Betty Schuler, Bonnie Butler (deceased), Carl Chester Matthews and LTC (Retired) Rodger Murphy Matthews Sr., friends and admirers.
He will surely be missed.
Services will be held at St. James Episcopal Church on Feb. 4
Family hour 9 – 10 am
Funeral 10 am
Burial will be at a later date.
A special ceremony will be scheduled in the spring to honor his memory and contributions to his country. Donations may be made to St. James Episcopal Church in Baltimore.
Help us Continue to tell OUR Story and join the AFRO family as a member – subscribers are now members! Join here!