- "You murdered Mike Peterson in front of his own son."
"Mr. Peterson chose that end. We gave him his life and his child unscathed. You're just upset because that man's death hit so close to home. Seeing a boy lose his father at such a young age, as you did. A defining moment."
- ―Phil Coulson and Edison Po
In July, 1964 Robert and his wife, Julie Coulson, had a son: Phil Coulson. At this time they were living in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, where Robert was a history professor at the local high school and coached the school's football team, the Manitowoc Outlaws.
Robert wanted his son Phil to spend time with him fixing a car, despite the fact Phil would have preferred to be playing outside like the rest of his friends. However, when they finished repairing the car, all the time they spent together repairing it made Phil appreciate the car in a way he would never have had otherwise, keeping the car for himself as he grew up and nicknaming it Lola.
Robert Coulson died on September 22, 1973.  His death was considered a defining moment in the life of his then nine year old son, Phil Coulson, as stated in his S.H.I.E.L.D. psych evaluation.
In chronological order:
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Robert Coulson died on the same date as his wife, but nineteen years earlier.
Behind the Scenes
- Robert Coulson's name is derived from actor Clark Gregg's father, Robert Gregg, as well as Clark Gregg's full name, Robert Clark Gregg.