Rev. Robert Dean graduated from Grand Rapids Central High School in 1972. In 1990 he was elected to the Grand Rapids Public School Board, where he served until 1997. In 1999, he was elected City Commissioner where he served until 2006, when he resigned to run for the State House. Dean served as State Representative from January 2007 until December 2010.
In 1980, Dean founded the New Life Church of God in Christ, and has been its Pastor for the past 30 years. Dean has been married to Betty Dean for 35 years and has two children and five grandchildren.