Born on January 18, 1941, in Elkton, Florida, Roberts began painting at age fifteen, inspired by his friend Alfred Hair. One of the first five Highwaymen, Roberts was considered a colorful character who never truly painted his way out of poverty.
He set up a makeshift studio outside under an enormous Brazilian pepper tree in the backyard of his house on Avenue Q in Fort Pierce. He put down a red carpet, he said, to match the flowers growing in his yard. A heavy smoker, he died on January 16, 2004.