Author of "Black Tuna Diaries"
Robert Platshorn, author of Black Tuna Diaries and America’s longest (30 yrs) imprisoned non- violent marijuana offender. Raised on South St. in downtown Philadelphia, acting ambitions earned him a supporting role in a successful off Broadway play while still in high school. The same skill led to Robert becoming one of America’s most famous pitchmen. The late Billy Mays called him “A legend in the pitch business”. Seen for years on TV, at fairs, and shows selling Vita Mix, frozen food knives, and gadgets. Robert studied communications at University of Miami.
At twenty-four he moved to London to found Dynamic Reading Institutes. Starting with a rented classroom, within three years there were fourteen schools in three countries and his teachers giving classes at Oxford, Cambridge, London University and the House of Lords. On his return to the U.S he started the Ice Cream Factory. Using a unique pushcart he invented, he became the second largest distributor of Breyers ice cream.
He moved back to Miami in 1975 to attend Law School. Miami in the 70’s was the center of the Colombian pot trade. Robert turned his business acumen to the mission of smuggling Colombian pot. Attorney general Griffin Bell named Robert’s organization the Black Tuna Gang and alleged they were responsible for most of the marijuana crossing the Florida coast. In 1979, a year after quiting the smuggling business, he was indicted, convicted and sentenced to 64 years in federal prison. He was released in late 2008 after serving almost 30 years in eleven different prisons.
Robert lives in Florida with his wife Lynne. He works for Medical Marijuana, collecting signatures for a Florida ballot initiative sponsored by PUFMM and NORML. He has appeared at Universities, Concerts, benefits, Expos and in the media to promote the cause, tell his story, and sign copies of his autobiography, Black Tuna Diaries (www.blacktunadiaries.com). His story was featured in three different editions of High Times, The New York Times, The Wall St Journal, Time, and most other national media outlets. His writing has been seen in The New York Times, High Times and various publications.
“Bobby Tuna” will soon be featured in “Square Grouper” an exciting new documentary from rakontur, producers of Cocaine Cowboys, and the ESPN hit film, “The U.”