Robert S. Green was born in Princeton, New Jersey on March 25, 1831. His education was attained at Princeton University, where he graduated in 1850. He went on to study law, and then established his legal career in Elizabeth. Green first entered politics in 1858, winning his election to the office of city attorney of Elizabeth, a position he held ten years. He also served as a delegate to the 1860, 1880 and 1888 Democratic National Conventions; was the surrogate of Union County from 1862 to 1867; and served as a member of the city council from 1863 to 1873. From 1868 to 1873 he served as the presiding judge of the Union County Common Pleas Court; and from 1885 to 1887 he served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Green next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 2, 1886. During his tenure, the militia law was improved; a state board of health was formed; and a bureau of vital statistics was organized, as well as a state board of agriculture. After completing his term, Green secured an appointment to serve as vice chancellor of New Jersey, an office he held from 1890 to 1895. He also served on the bench of the Errors and Appeals Court from 1894 to 1894. Governor Robert S. Green passed away on May 7, 1895, and was buried in the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.