The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace

by

Jeffrey Hobbs

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The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace Characters

Robert DeShaun Peace

Robert DeShaun Peace is the protagonist of the book. He’s born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, at a time when the city is quickly becoming one of the poorest and most dangerous places in… (read full character analysis)

Jeff Hobbs

Jeff Hobbs is the author and narrator of the book, and during his four years as an undergraduate at Yale University, he lived with Robert Peace. Jeff comes from a highly privileged family of… (read full character analysis)

Jackie Peace

Jackie Peace is Robert Peace’s hardworking mother. As a young woman, she meets Skeet, and eventually has his child. However, she refuses to marry Skeet, reasoning that marriage is the quickest way to… (read full character analysis)

Robert “Skeet” Douglas

Skeet is the father of Robert Peace, and one of the most ambiguous characters in the entire book. A brilliant, fast-talking man, Skeet is clearly a role model for the young Robert, and clearly… (read full character analysis)

Friar Edwin Leahy

Friar Edwin Leahy is the young, driven headmaster of St. Benedict’s Prep at the time when Robert Peace is a student there. He’s instrumental in motivating Robert to do great things at a high school… (read full character analysis)
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Ty Cantey

One of Robert Peace and Jeff Hobbs’s freshman roommates, Ty Cantey is a hugely talented athlete and student who’s nonetheless forced to rethink his career ambitions after attending medical school. Like Robert, he’s a… (read full character analysis)

Raquel Diaz

One of Robert Peace’s closest friends, Raquel Diaz is a Puerto Rican Yale student who, much like Robert, struggles with the condescending (and in some ways racist) atmosphere at Yale. After graduating, she and… (read full character analysis)

Oswaldo Gutierrez

Oswaldo Gutierrez is a talented Yale student who hails from a similar socioeconomic background as Robert Peace, but disapproves of Robert’s drug dealing, which he feels only confirms offensive stereotypes about minorities in America… (read full character analysis)
Minor Characters
Frances Peace
Jackie Peace’s mother.
Horace Peace
Jackie Peace’s father.
Charlene Moore
Sister of Estella Moore, and one of the two women Skeet is convicted of killing.
Estella Moore
Sister of Charlene Moore, and one of the two women Skeet is convicted of killing.
Thomas Lechliter
Newark attorney who serves as prosecutor in Skeet’s murder trial.
Georgianna Broadway
A friend of the Moore sisters, who later testifies against Skeet at his trial, effectively sending him to prison.
Deborah Neal
A friend of Georgianna Broadway.
Mervin Matthews
A friend of Estella Moore.
Sharpe James
The charismatic and controversial mayor of Newark from 1986 to 2006, when he was convicted of fraud and sentenced to prison time.
Victor Raymond
A childhood friend of Robert Peace, who continues hanging out with Robert (and eventually helping Robert deal drugs) after Robert graduates from Yale.
Coach Wayne Ridley
Coach of the St. Benedict’s swim team.
Drew Jewison
One of Robert Peace’s closest high school friends, and later one of his fellow drug dealers.
Julius Starkes
One of Robert Peace’s closest high school friends, and later one of his fellow drug dealers.
Tavarus Hester
One of Robert Peace’s closest high school friends, father of a baby boy, Christopher, and later one of Robert Peace’s fellow drug dealers.
Curtis Gamble
One of Robert Peace’s closest high school friends, who’s in the house when Robert is murdered.
Hrvoje Dundovic
A Croatian high school friend of Robert Peace.
Charles Cawley
Wealthy businessman and St. Benedict’s alumnus who pays for Robert Peace’s college education, no questions asked.
Chuck Hobbs
Father of Jeff Hobbs.
Dan Murray
One of Robert Peace and Jeff Hobbs’s freshman roommates.
Zina
Yale student who Robert Peace dates during his freshman year.
Sherman Feerick
Yale student and stoner who shares Robert Peace’s feelings about the racism of the Yale administration, and later becomes a successful consultant.
Laurel Bachner
Head of the Elihu secret society at Yale.
Anwar Reed
New Haven drug dealer.
Simon Rodriguez
Raquel Diaz’s husband.
Rebecca
Jeff Hobbs’s wife.
Big Steve
Victor Raymond’s older brother.
Boobie
Member of the Double II Set gang in Newark, who feuds with Robert Peace.
Inayra “Ina” Sideros
Raquel Diaz’s aunt, who briefly dates Robert Peace before joining the Navy.
Lana Kusan
Croatian woman who Robert Peace is dating shortly before his death.
Isabella Peretzian
Yale student who was friends with Robert Peace in college, and later becomes a successful music writer.
Rene Millien
Brooklyn-based artist who Robert Peace dates, and who tells Robert that he needs to get his life together.
Amin
Drug dealer who employs Robert Peace to treat his supply of marijuana.
Kamar
“Drug mule” for Robert Peace, who begins talking about Robert behind his back, and plays a major role in escalating the tensions between Robert and Newark gangs.
Christopher
The young son of Tavarus Hester.
Arthur Turpin
Member of the Elihu secret society.
Carl
A family friend of the Peaces, the man who introduces Jackie Peace to Skeet, and, years later, the man who steals Robert Peace’s savings, setting in motion the final, tragic years of his life.