Robert "Lee" McComb was born in San Francisco, California on March 24, 1868. His maternal grandparents were a prominent Southern family, and he was named in honor of General Robert E Lee.
Lee spent his youth living in Memphis, Tennessee. Later, the family moved to New York State where he attended Troy Academy and later Cornell University. He was a member of Zeta Psi, baseball director for his freshman class, and stroke of the varsity four-oared crew. This crew won the Downing Cup at Philadelphia on July 4, 1888, defeating Pennsylvania, the Tritons of Newark, the Ariels of Baltimore, and the New York Rowing Club, in a race of 1 ½ miles.
Although he was enrolled in the class of 1891, Lee left school e
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