Paul Robeson Biography. Who Was Simply Paul Robeson? Who Had Been Paul Robeson? Paul Robeson had been a stellar athlete and doing artist. He starred both in phase and movie variations regarding the Emperor Jones and Show Boat and established a screen that is immensely popular performing job of worldwide proportions. Robeson spoke down against racism and became globe activist, and had been blacklisted throughout the paranoia of McCarthyism into the 1950s. Early Years Paul Leroy Robeson came to be on 9, 1898, in Princeton, New Jersey, to Anna Louisa and William Drew Robeson, an escaped slave april.