Robinson served in the U. S. Marine Corps from 1970 to 1972. He earned his bachelor's degree in marketing at the University of Alabama in 1975 and later graduated from Harvard University's advance graduate program in management.
Robinson worked as a sales representative and distributor of spinal implants and artificial knees. His experience as an observer in operating rooms led him to start IMS to fill a need for specialized medical instrument repair and maintenance. In 2004, after participating in a medical mission trip to Colombia, Robinson founded the non-profit Instruments of Mercy which provides medical equipment to volunteer surgical teams working around the world.
Robinson has three adult children and one grandson.
- Williams, Roy L. (April 3, 2011) "On the Record: With Gene Robinson, CEO of Birmingham's IMS, surgical equipment supply company." Birmingham News