Robert Manning Strozier was born July 20, 1906, in McRae, Georgia. He lived at various times in McRae, Vienna and Moultrie, and then went to Atlanta where he received a bachelor's and a master's degree from Emory University. In 1930, as a teacher of French, he began his educational career on the faculty of Georgia College for Men at Tifton. Later he served on the faculties of West Georgia College and the University of Georgia. His postgraduate work was continued at the University of Chicago, where he was awarded a Ph.D. degree in 1945, and at the Sorbonne, where he later returned to make a series of lectures. While studying at Chicago he met and married Margaret Burnett in 1936. Dr. and Mrs. Strozier were the parents of three children. Strozier became president of Florida State University (FSU) in September, 1957, after 28 years of college teaching and administration in three Georgia institutions. He was also dean of students and professor or romance languages at the University of Chicago.
Soon after coming to FSU, Strozier announced this ambition: "We shall make Florida State a great University." Faculty, students, and friends of the university witnessed one after another, the steps taken toward this goal during his two and 1/2 years at FSU. While in Chicago for a speaking engagement, Dr. Strozier suffered a heart attack and died on April 20, 1960.