You've no doubt already heard about or seen the video of a man, dressed head to toe in an elaborate Batman costume, who was recently pulled over on Route 29 in Silver Spring, Maryland in his own version of a Batmobile; an all-black Lamborghini with the bat symbol for a license plate. Many laughed, thinking it was just some rich guy with a weird hobby and a sense of humor who was finally pulled over for driving a vehicle that didn't meet the state's license plate standards. As it turns out, though, those assumptions were half right.
Yes, this Lambo Batman is quite wealthy, but he doesn't just go out joyriding in an expensive car for rich kicks. His real name is Lenny B. Robinson and he dedicates his free time and thousands of dollars of his own money every year to cheering up sick children in hospitals.
Mr. Robinson, by his own admission, was a not so clean cut teenager, but now he's a mature, independently wealthy businessman who made a small fortune off of selling a cleaning business he founded when he was younger. Instead of spending the money only on himself, however, Robinson paid an expert costumer to make him a full body Batman suit. Throughout the year he puts it on, hops into his own Batmobile and drives to hospitals in the DC Metro area to visit children's cancer wards, where he proceeds to hand out Batman books and toys that he purchased with his own money (about $25,000 worth of memorabilia every year), in order to cheer up young boys and girls.
All of this was revealed by Michael S. Rosenwald, a journalist for the Washington Post who just so happens to be friends with this real life Batman, and his profile of Mr. Robinson is an absolute must read for anyone in need of a smile:
Batman began visiting Baltimore area hospitals in 2001, sometimes with his now teenage son Brandon playing Robin. Once other hospitals and charities heard about his car and his cape, Batman was put on superhero speed dial for children’s causes around the region. He visits sick kids at least couple times a month, sometimes more often. He visits schools, too, to talk about bullying. He does not do birthday parties.
His superhero work is limited to doing good deeds, part of a maturation process in his own life. In his earlier years, he acknowledges that he sometimes displayed an unsuperhero-like temper and got into occasional trouble with the law. Putting on the Batman uniform changes and steadies him.
“Eventually, it sinks in and you become him,” Batman told me. “It feels like I have a responsibility that’s beyond a normal person. And that responsibility is to be there for the kids, to be strong for them, and to make them smile as much as I can.” He understands that might sound corny, but he doesn’t care.
We love that this isn't a case of life imitating art, this is just a case of one man realizing he can make a difference in the lives of kids and parents who need it most. And he wasn't doing it for fame or glory, it's just fate that a group of YouTube-loving people happened to record a video of him cruising down the road and it went viral.
Mr. Lenny B. Robinson, we salute you.