A lifelong resident of Sussex County, Littell was educated at Franklin High School and the Hun School in Princeton.
In the Senate, Littell chairs the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and serves as co-chair of the Joint Budget Oversight Committee. Always cognizant of the important role farming plays in so many New Jersey communities and of the industry's impact on the local economies, Littell has frequently sponsored budget language and legislation which has had significant positive impacts on the agricultural community. Included among these major pieces of legislation are the creation of the Commission on Open Space, which provided the recommendations that led to the establishment of the Garden State Preservation Trust; amendments to the Farmland Assessment Act to broaden the application of law to more of the agriculture industry; appropriations for the Agriculture Economic Recovery and Development Initiative, the Emergency Disaster Relief Act of 1999, the New Jersey Museum of Agriculture and the Farmland Preservation Program; and legislation that will ultimately enable New Jersey to join the Northeast Interstate Dairy Compact.
At the local level, Littell is a member of the Sussex County Peace Officers Association and American Legion Post 132 in Franklin and an exempt member of the Franklin Volunteer Fire Department. He has also served as chairman of local fund-raising efforts for the American Cancer Society, the Association for Retarded Citizens, and the March of Dimes in Sussex County. In September 1996, he became a trustee of Centenary College and was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws degree. In January of this year, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Littell served in the New Jersey Assembly from 1967 to 1990. He also served three years with the Marine Corps during the Korean War.
Littell and his wife Virginia have a daughter, Alison, a son, Luke, and a grandson, Logan. Senator Littell owns a working farm in Sparta Township, Sussex County, that has been in his family for over 200 years.
In recognition and appreciation of his support for the Garden State's agricultural community, the State Board of Agriculture awards Senator Robert E. Littell with its citation for Distinguished Service to New Jersey Agriculture.