The Children's Page














Hey kids:

Mr. Coles was a man who really cared about children and listened to what they had to say. Read on to learn about how his life was changed by his experience with a young girl.


Dr. M. Robert Coles worked with children from all different backgrounds. He has become famous for his way with children and ability to communicate with them other than on speaking terms.

One girl who made a difference in his life was Ruby Bridges. She was one of the first children to attend the newly segregated schools in the South. Mr. Coles admired her courage and begged to speak to her. He wanted to learn what gave her the strength and drive to go day after day to school while crowds gathered to yell and curse at her. Ruby told him about her faith in God and how her prayers helped her get through the day. He was amazed at her maturity and devotion though still a young girl.

It has been some years since Dr. Coles first met Ruby Bridges. If you want to hear Ruby Bridges talk about her experiences with Charlayne Hunter-Gault of the McNeil Lehrer Report click on the audio icon in the menu on the left. Check out the Disney Movie or write to Ruby Bridges Hull at: The Ruby Bridges Educational Foundation P.O. Box 870248 New Orleans, LA 70187.

Another way he learned from his patients was through drawing with them. He found the pictures to hold deep meanings. Children, he realized, were very aware of the world around them. He began to study children and their reaction to different situations. Email us your thoughts or drawings.

Fun Facts
  • He was born on October 12, 1929
  • Robert is actually his middle name and Martin his first
  • His father was English and his mother was American from the Midwest
  • He has one younger brother named William
  • He graduated from Boston Latin in 1946
  • He is a graduate of Harvard College and of Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • He currently teaches at Harvard University
  • He has three sons
  • He has written more than 55 books and 1200 articles and essays
  • He has won many prizes including the Pulitzer Prize
  • This year he received the Medal of Freedom