Robert Davila was born in southern California to Mexican-American parents who worked in fields and orchards. At age eight, he contracted spinal meningitis and became deaf. When his mother learned about a school for the deaf in northern California, she sent him alone on a journey to California School for the Deaf, Fremont but he attended to Berkley before moved to Fremont in late of 1930’s and early of 1940’s. He graduated from Gallaudet University and earns Bachelor degrees in Education. He was class of 1953.

Dr. Robert Davila is first Deaf Hispanic to earn a doctorate degree in Educational Technology at Syracuse University. He became the highest-ranking Deaf person ever appointed to a federal government position in 1990’s during President George W. Bush.

He served as the ninth president of Gallaudet University from 2007 to 2009. Dr. Davila was chief executive officer of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) from 1996 to 2004, and assistant secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the U.S. Department of Education in 1989 to 1993.
He did selling his book in 2007, the book called “Moments of Truth: Robert R. Davila, the Story of a Deaf Leader”.