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Ray Robinson (aka The Green Man) - Koppel PA

Anyone who grew up in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding areas in the 1950’s through the 1970’s would have heard about the man dubbed Charlie No Face, known more popularly outside the area as the Green Man. The various tales of the Green Man reached such legendary proportions in western Pennsylvania that he was placed on same scale as the Boogeyman. But who was man behind the legend – the so-called Green Man?

Well, he was once a boy named Raymond T. “Ray” Robinson, born in Beaver County on Saturday, October 29, 1910, to Robert Robinson and Louise H. “Lula” (Winnail) Robinson. His father Robert was born in July 1881, was the son of James and Sarah Robinson, had two brothers and a sister, was raised in Big Beaver Township, and worked in a sandstone quarry. His mother Lula was born in July 1881, was the daughter of Fred and Sarah Winnail, lost her mother as a teenager, had five siblings, and grew up in New Brighton. Robert and Lula were married in about 1906.

A young Ray grew up in Morado just north of Beaver Falls proper. In 1917, when he was seven years old, his father died and his mother subsequently married her brother-in-law Orin N. Robinson. Orin was Ray’s uncle and his dad’s older brother. Together Orin and Lula raised a total of six or seven children who all enjoyed a typical childhood.

The course of Ray’s life would soon be drastically altered. On a typical summer day on Wednesday, June 18, 1919, eight-year-old Ray and four of his friends were headed to (or from) a swimming hole when they came upon the Morado Bridge. The bridge carried the Harmony Short Line trolley over Wallace Run and into its dead end station at Morado, where passengers could connect with another streetcar system and continue south into downtown Beaver Falls. Ray apparently accepted a dare to climb up the bridge and check out a bird’s nest the boys had spied up high. Upon climbing up a section of the bridge Ray came in contact with a high voltage wire and was electrocuted. In a flash he was severely burned and thrown backwards. The other boys ran for help and Ray was soon transported to Providence Hospital in Beaver Falls.

His injuries were considerable as he suffered severe burns from the waist up and his face was severely mutilated. His eyes were burned away, his nose was just a hole, his mouth and one ear were disfigured, and he lost his left arm at the elbow. He could still talk but it was hard to understand his garbled speech. His injures were significant but he somehow managed to survive. He underwent a lengthy series of operations in Pittsburgh in an attempt to restore his body as much as possible.

After a long recovery a blinded and horribly scarred Ray, who was actually in good spirits, returned home to start a new life. In about 1920 his family, with whom he would live with for the rest of his days, moved to a new home in Big Beaver Township. I believe the family home was located on Mount Street just outside the limits of Koppel, where Ray’s stepfather Orin worked at the local steel plant.

Ray, who only completed school at the first grade level, became a lifelong recluse and avoided going out during the day because his appearance often startled people. He passed the time by listening to the radio, hiking in the woods behind his home, working with crafts, becoming skilled at several brain-teasing puzzles, and occasionally cutting the grass with a manual lawnmower. Those who knew him said he was one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet.

Ray became known by the locals as Charlie No Face, although he was better known in legend as the Green Man. Exactly why he is called the Green Man is not entirely known, but some say it was his green jacket while others say he had a green hue about him.

It was years later that Ray started to gain acclaim and notoriety of sorts. No one knows for sure but years later, maybe in the early 1940’s, Ray started to walk at night along Route 351 between Koppel and New Galilee. He kept his course with a walking stick and by keeping one foot on the paved road and the other on the gravel shoulder. Word got around about his nightly walks and people, especially curiosity-seeking teenagers, started driving along Route 351 to catch a glimpse of him. Most kids just drove by him in fear but others stopped to talk and befriended him. People were generally very kind to him and even gave him beer and cigarettes. A handful of folks demeaned him and reportedly gave him cigarettes laced with drugs. The zenith of his popularity was in the late 1950’s and 1960’s when he encountered folks on a regular basis.

His stepfather Orin passed away in 1963 and his mother Lula died in 1966. Ray continued his nightly walks for many years until age started to catch up with him in the 1970’s. I believe he continue to reside in the family home with his younger sister Valda V. (Robinson) Rice, whose husband Milton “John” Rice died in Michigan in 1970, for some time. In the early 1980’s he took up residence in the Beaver County Geriatric Center (now Friendship Ridge nursing home) in Beaver, Pennsylvania. Ray died on June 11, 1985, at the age of seventy-four and was buried with his father Robert in Grandview Cemetery in Beaver Falls.

The nocturnal outings of disfigured Ray led to many far-fetched stories that often compared him to some sort of supernatural beast. Young children feared the frightening tales of the Green Man and the stories placed him all over the region. Many people in western Pennsylvania knew about the urban legend of the Green Man, but few knew the actual kind-hearted man that was Raymond Robinson. That stands true even today.

Ray’s mother Lula passed away in October 1966. To read her obituary click on: LULA ROBINSON OBITUARY.

A blurry photo of Ray. I’ll post a better version soon.

A better photo of Ray showing his severely scarred face. Despite his loss of sight Ray made his nightly walks for many decades along Route 351 near Koppel.

A photo of Ray’s gravesite at scenic Grandview Cemetery in Beaver Falls. It was not far from here that Ray was electrocuted back in 1919. (Nov 2010)

A photo of Ray’s gravestone. Ray is buried next to his father Robert, who died when Ray was seven years old. (Nov 2010)

A closeup of Ray’s name etched into the stone. (Nov 2010)


  1. Talked to Ray many times on his nightly walks. He would take a daytime walk behind his house on some hills which were an old strip mine and myself and some childhood friends would run into him once in awhile and would talk to him. One time he was roughed up on his nightly walk so my dad gave him one of his spare police pistols to carry for protection. Remember my dad and some other guys from Koppel would bring him into Carangi’s bar to drink once in awhile.

  2. I live in ellwood city, a town about 5 miles away from koppel. My grandfather knew Ray and would talk to him often. Apparently my family used to know or could possibly be related to his family, so I hear stories about ray often.

  3. My dad knew him and would sometimes give him rides home.

  4. Ray earned the name green man because of the Green glow of the skin on his face. I heard that it was from the early form of plastic surgery he had. One night in 1966 I was driving east on 351 down Phillips Hill. At the bottom of the hill, there is a dip in the road, then the road leveled out. When the headlights on my 1964 Chevy leveled out they fell directly on Ray , standing along the left side of the road. As a kid I heard all the stories with my ears. Now I was seeing him with my eyes.
    I must say I wasn’t ready for what I saw at 2AM. He actually glowed like Phosphorus. Later I found out how nice a person he was, but I’ll never forget that first look.

  5. I remember him standing along side the road when i was younger.

  6. I saw him once after graduation in 1962. Stories prior to the visit had me expecting some type of ogre. It was dark, but I could see that he had no nose. Didn’t see any green hue, but found him to be a pleasant man with whom it was easy to talk.

  7. Never met him but I remember the stories vividly.

  8. i knew ray pretty good.. i’ve had him in my car several times.. he loved budwiser.. he came to our pool room on the south side OF NEW CASTLE
    .. we even took him to a party once.. he would come to Russell Trucking..rt #18 ON mid-nite shift.. and work and help my cousin George Klush seperate tools .. we always took special care of ray..

  9. I remember my dad stopping and giving Ray (Charlie) a ride in 1958 on 351 heading toward New Galilee, (we lived on top of Allies/Freed Hill [Friendship Rd].

  10. yea ray was a good dude, i remember in the 70s we use to ride kopple gally road an pull off to bullshit with ray, drink some beers,an what not,,,but the other side was ther was alot of a-holes who would go out ther to mess with him, sad but true…..

  11. They should place some type of memorial of him on Rt. 351. This guy was a legend.

  12. I remember driving to see Ray as A teenager with other teens at night. I was scared the first time but not on other visits. We gave him candy.

  13. we went out to visit ray late on many a night…. usually took a bottle of beer along and he accepted cigarettes as well. .. a very pleasant man… thanks for remembering him

  14. We used to stop and talk to him and game him a cigarette. Very nice man very polite very nice to talk to. I very happy to say i met this l person”

  15. Remember riding down the road with friends to see him. I stayed in car while friends gave him cigarettes and candy. I heard him talk and he seemed like the nicest person. Sure brings back memories. I lived in new castle.!

  16. My husband named, with my (email address) knew Alma Robinison, who was related through her husband to Ray. Alma attended our church in Petersburg. Alma was also a close friend of our family until her death. My husband knew a lot of the relatives. Kay , know as Wabee by my grandchildren.

  17. I’m disappointed to say I never had the pleasure of meeting Ray as he died before I was even born but he seems like a truly great man and I love reading all of your stories about how you met Ray!

  18. I grew up near Ray, and saw him fairly often as he would walk past my house and my best friend lived a few houses down from him on upper Mount Street. A lady named Ms Rice stayed with him at that time. I have to say I never saw him glow green, but his face would kind of light up with headlights because he was so pale. He’d often turn away when cars came by. I always thought the “Green Man” name came from him wearing that green army coat and green flannel, but I don’t know for sure. Honestly I don’t remember anyone local ever calling him that. It was either Ray Robinson, or Charlie No Face.

  19. Wow! I really love this man! I live in another country and I was born fifteen years after his death, but I think he must have been such a wonderful person!

  20. Seems like a nice guy.

  21. first time I saw ray, iwas a teenager, me dave m. & ron y. drove out the pa turnpike at 2 am to try & get a glimpse of this supposedly zombie looking creature..it was a cool fall eve. very foggy out& dark..we drove up and done that lonely rode in new gaillee callin his name to no avail.so we decided to drive up a different rode only to have a vehicle tailgaiting us the whole way with its high beams on. this car followed us very closly for miles with the high beams on & finally pulled off & made a u turn & started headed back in the direction ,back to where the green man rode was where ray was supposedly to be, we turned around and started drving back following the car that was tailgating us when it suddenly stopped on the side of the dark foggy rode.. OMG it was a fuckin HEARSE!!!! following us at 3am on this dark lonely foggy rode. we burned rubber out of thers asap scared to death…turned onto the rode where ray hung out on & there he was standing on the side of the rode in the headlights, I was in the backseat of this 67 ford mustang convertible & I fell over in fright on the back seat. we all literally SHIT OUR PANTS….with fright..i have never been more scared in my life as I was that nite. we spoke a cpl words with ray and burned rubber the fuck outa there.. I went back occasionally & became friends with ray after that ,we would take girls out to see him & scare the shit out of them, ray was a very kind soft spoken gentleman & I used to give him beers & whiskey & smokes & talk with him..i never forget that nite I first saw him.. I SWEAR I ALMOST DIED FROM FRIGHT!!!! I honestly felt sorry for the man as asshole people would do terrible things to him, I heard stories that people would put hits of acid in alcohol & give it to him, unknowingly, pick him oup a take him from the area & drop him off far away, just crazy shit like that.. that this kind gentleman did not deserve… I heard later in years after I got married & had kids that he died in a nursing home…to this day, I have never seen anything more terrify looking & still be brething & alive….just want to say>>MAY YOU REST IN PEACE MR. ROBINSON

  22. I knew him and his family well. I visited his home on several occasions. I spent much of my childhood atop that same hill exploring the strip mines and woods. He was a kind and gentle soul. May he rest in peace.

  23. I did not know Raymond… sadly. But as I read these accounts from the people that Ray did meet and just how humbled Ray was even after the incident when he was 8 years old. The many lives that Ray touched and the friends he made not only on a quite stretch of road at night time but on the road of life, it really goes to show that Ray WAS a very geniune human being with a big heart and all he really wanted was a friend.

    Rest In Peace, Raymond “Ray” Robinson.

    I wish that I could’ve had the chance to have met Ray. I would have loved to have sat down and had a conversation with Ray about his life and it would have been amazing to learn more about who Ray really was as a human being.

    I would’ve loved to known how Ray felt walking alone at night in the dark. I cannot imagine someone so great being left alone because of how they look. It saddens me that this is the world that we all have to live and exist in as one.

    Ray’s story is one of true misfortune but in the end with all the people that he met and the friends that he made… Raymond Robinson died the richest man in the world.

  24. From New Castle , Pa, but we would drive down to see him. wonderful guy.

  25. I just want to say thank you to everyone that has shared their memory’s of my Great uncle Raymond it’s amazing to me now to see how much of an impact that he had on his community and even more so knowing that he will always be remembered for the person that he was and yes maybe his looks to. I remimber that I would always spend the summer’s with my grandmother and uncle Raymond and trust me I sure did follow him all over the house wondering to my self how he got threw his days and I found out he did it just like we all do and he tought me a lot that’s for sure the one thing Raymond loved the most besides beer and cigarettes was his radio and he would always sing to me and as he would sing he would Pat his arm to the beat of the songs it’s really hard to believe that someone that had so much taken from them at so young could still be so happy so I truly thank all the ones that were so kind to him because that’s what made all of the difference in his life God bless you all and R.I.P uncle Raymond your legend will for ever live on this is proof that you are thought of often and missed alot.

  26. my name is cindy mackey . i am going to be writing a book on Ray . i like to know is any of his family are left that i can come and talk to them this aug , I think he Ray needs more respect . and i think this is a listen for people never touch a live wire any where .

    i hope i can here from someone . and make appointment to see u when i come there . i think i have to ask them how they feel me writing bout him out of respect .thank u at cmackeys30@gmail.com

  27. There is no story here people unless you want to talk about the horror story you all continue to make about how you treated some poor misfortune man. You think you’re big heroes because you gave him a car ride or beer? Bet you never thought about how the hell he got home after you dropped him off. You never thought about what you put the family through with all your crap. And you just keep on going. For God’s sake..let it rest!

  28. @Aa shut up

  29. (EDITOR’s NOTE) All, Please keep things respectful or I will remove your comments. I have this comments section because I believe it’s a useful forum to share everyday perspective from my readers. This is a site of local history. I attempt to write these stories as accurately as possible after careful research. I always try to show respect for the subjects no matter if it is a positive story, an unusual story, or perhaps a story with some notoriety. This is likely one with an unusual slant. Ray was beloved by many people, but also seen as a tourist trap by many others. That’s real life and sometimes life is unfortunate. There is a absolutely a story here and to me it is a guy who overcame some serious obstacles to forge out a life as best he could. History is not about letting it rest… it’s about documenting it, celebrating it, sharing it. That is history and Ray is a part of it. Very respectively. Jeff

  30. Just wanted to thank you fir preserving my great-uncle’s memory. He was a kind gentle soul and his sister did a wonderful job of assisting him till she passed.

  31. (EDITOR’S NOTE) Pauline, thank you for sharing your comment! Jeff


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