Lenny B. Robinson (aka: The Route 29 Batman), most famous for his viral video dressed up as Batman, has died. He was pronounced dead last Sunday, August 16th, at the age of 51.
The viral video he was recognizable for had him, dressed as the caped crusader, being pulled over by local police in Montgomery County. Driving a replica Batmobile, he had only been pulled over for not displaying the proper license, but the video of the stop soon spread across the web.
While that in itself would be tragic, as it is when all lives are lost, Robinson lived up to the legacy of the cowl he wore. He, like Bruce Wayne, was something of a rich eccentric, and used his wealth to help others. While still in high school, he had started up his own cleaning business that now employees over 300 people. After no longer needing to work, he decided to do something much more meaningful. He wore the Batman costume to visit hospitalized children to give them a chance to talk to their favorite superhero, in addition of passing out assorted toys and memorabilia. He hoped to inspire children to be like Batman, to always have hope and never give up fighting. Robinson also president of the nationwide philanthropy organization Superheroes for Kids.
As Batman, he was able to touch the lives of many children, many of whom suffered from terminal diseases. One of the most heartwarming stories centers around a girl named Elizabeth Gardner, who was 6 when she first met the caped crusader. She eventually told him she was being picked on at school because no one believed Batman was really her friend. So Robinson, in full costume, visited her school and imparted a quick message about how bullying was wrong, proclaiming she was his friend. He also visited her and her family again with presents after their home had burned down some time later.
Last Sunday, after filling his car up with gas and passing out toys to nearby children, Robinson headed back to his home in Maryland. After pulling over on the highway to check the engine, another car struck the Batmobile and him. He was pronounced dead at the scene, with the other driver of the car having no reported injuries. No charges have been filed as well. In lieu of flowers, his surviving family asks mourners to donate to Superheroes for Kids.
Robinson is survived by three sons, family and friends, and countless others whose lives he has touched. He was a well-respected member of his community, who everyone had a kind word for. Even the police officers who had pulled him over in the video that made him famous, drove over an hour to attend his funeral and pay their respects. Fellow geeks should be inspired by Lenny Robinson, not just for his work with children, but because he proves that anyone with a good heart can be a superhero.