Name? The Honorable Robert R. Rigsby
City? Washington D.C.
Occupation? District of Columbia Superior Court Judge
Who is your greatest role model?
I have a lot of role models, but I would like to highlight four influential people. My father, mother, wife, and Mr. Philmore Graham all taught me how to serve.
My father instilled in me his work ethic and the value of hard work. While he was only afforded a third-grade education, for his family, he valued education above anything else. He gave his finest years in service to his country as a U.S. Army soldier, and taught me powerful lessons about public service that I applied to my own life. Both my parents were focused on service to the community. Through the church, my mother served our local community and gave me a spiritual foundation rooted in love for one another and acts of service.
My parents entrusted part of my life education to a man named Philmore Graham. A nuclear engineer from North Carolina, Mr. Graham started the Continentals of Omega Boys and Girls club in Vallejo, California. Running the club with his own funding, he placed me around intelligent men who taught me how to learn. He said we could be “anything we set our minds too, if we were dumb enough to believe it.” That club produced Bernard Tyson, CC Sabathia, and Gregory Allen Howard.
This commitment to service influenced every aspect of my life. I found a partner, my wife; Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby who is as equally committed to service. With a powerful resolve, she has supported our family, our community, and me unconditionally. When I was deployed to Iraq, despite her loving concern, she said, “This is how we serve.” All of these experiences motivated me to be involved in service through my fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. and the D.C. Law Camp. Each of these people has played an enormous role in who I am and where I am today.
What is the best piece of wisdom that you received? Who said it?
Make an impression, not simply an impact. An impact can come and go; an impression will last forever. Make an impression and you’ll be blessed. – Roger M. Rigsby
What is your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement was marrying my wife, Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby and being the father of my son, Julian. It is an honor to have a wife and son who are brilliant, selfless, and loving.
What is something you overcame to get there?
When I was diagnosed with a rare condition, doctors told me that I definitely would never walk again and potentially that I was going to die. My heart broke to see my wife with the same face that she had when I was going to war, but she didn’t quit. It is hard to keep faith when the experts tell you these disheartening outcomes. I kept the faith however, and God gave me the strength to say I will walk and I will live. Today, I’m alive and walking.
What is your favorite family heirloom? What does it mean?
My office is covered with pictures of my family and I cherish those the most because my family means everything to me. Additionally, I remember my childhood with the 1141 address lock of where I grew up at 1141 Louisiana street in Vallejo, California.
How would you describe your style?
I would say fun and adventurous. No one has ever asked me about my personal style. I have to be serious when necessary but I like to have fun and try new things.
How do you use your Solomon Chancellor piece?
I don’t leave home without it. It holds the things I need and has already accompanied me on several business trips. It is exciting to get compliments wherever I go and tell people the story of how I got it. I have an Acheson Weekender and Vernon Briefcase.
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