Jay was born on September 10, 1946 to Frank and Frances Robinson, who spearheaded the effort to save the Back Bay in Newport Beach as a natural preserve, despite efforts by developers. Jay initiated their efforts while biking along the bay as a young boy and discovering a sign that presented the beach area as a private area, which Jay knew was wrong. The Robinsons devoted their lives and their personal money in what proved to be a lengthy series of court battles to wrest control of the bay from private interests.
Jay was proud of his parents and helped in the effort to build a memorial to his parents on what has remained the Upper Newport Bay natural preserve. This memorial is formally called Vista Point (located at the corner of Back Bay Drive and Eastbluff Drive) but is known informally among long time Naturalists as Robinson Point. Jay enjoyed a successful career as an attorney. Although he did not live near the bay, he remained committed to the Bay and was a generous donor year after year. He will be very much missed at the Bay.