Royal R. Robinson Sr., 80, a retired postal clerk and past general president of the D.C. local of the American Postal Workers Union (AFL-CIO), died of a heart ailment Sept. 21 at Georgetown University Hospital.

Mr. Robinson, who lived in Washington, was born in Richmond. He moved here in 1928 and began his career with the Post Office in 1932. He retired in 1971. He began his work in postal unions in 1936. He was president of the D.C. local of the APWU from 1971 to 1974 and also was a regional representative of the national union.

Mr. Robinson was a director of the Near Northeast Community Improvement Corp., a vice chairman of Ward 12 in the Model Cities Program in Northeast Washington, a member of the Pigskin Club, a counselor in the summer aide program of the Post Office, treasurer emeritus of Prudence Masonic Lodge No. 27, and chairman of the finance committee of the Mount Olive Baptist Church.

His wife, the former Alice Manning, died in 1977.

Survivors include two children, Lillie Matthews and Royal R. Robinson Jr., both of Washington; three sisters, Vernell Ruffin of Montrose, Va., Iantha Roane of Chicago and Juanita Walker of Cleveland; three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.