FitzGerald studied science at the University of Sydney. He left before graduating, however, and followed in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather Robert D. FitzGerald by taking up a post as a surveyor. In the 1930s he travelled to Fiji where he worked for the Native Lands Commission, surveying tribal boundaries, and gaining experience important to his poetry.  He spent World War II doing engineering surveys in New South Wales for the Australian Department of the Interior (where he worked from 1939 to 1965).
In later life, FitzGerald was influential, not only through his poetry, but also as a lecturer and reviewer. He died in Glen Innes, New South Wales, aged 84.
FitzGerald's poetry, together with that of Kenneth Slessor, was an important modernist influence on Australian literature of the late 1920s and 1930s, being at once more serious and more workmanlike than much of the poetry of the period. Jack Lindsay wrote of them:
- FitzGerald and Slessor were the poets who were to carry on in their own ways the impetus begotten by Vision and in the 1930s to dominate Australian poetry, lifting it definitively to a new level of intellectual responsibility and ending once for all the reign of the slipshod, the pedestrian and the emotionally inchoate.
- 1928 Panton Arts Club (UK), Festival of Arts and Letters Bronze Medal, winner for To meet the sun
- 1938 Australian Literature Society Poetry Gold Medal winner for Moonlight acre
- 1938 Australia's Sesquicentenary Celebration Long Poem Prize, winner for Essay on memory
- 1951 Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to literature
- 1952 Grace Leven Prize for Poetry winner for Between two tides
- 1959 Grace Leven Prize for Poetry winner for The wind at Your Door: A poem
- 1965 Britannica Australia Award (shared)
- 1962 Grace Leven Prize for Poetry winner for Southmost twelve
- 1974 Robert Frost Medallion (now known as Christopher Brennan Award)
- 1982 Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to literature
- 1985 honorary Litt.D., University of Melbourne
- The Greater Apollo: Seven metaphysical songs. Sydney: privately published, 1927.
- To Meet the Sun. Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1929.
- Moonlight Acre. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1938.
- Heemskerck Shoals. Fern Tree Gully Lower, Vic: Mountainside Press, 1949.
- Between Two Tides (long poem). Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1952.
- This Night's Orbit: Verses. Carlton, Vic: Melbourne University Press, 1953.
- The Wind at Your Door. Cremorne, NSW: Talkarra Press, 1959.
- Southernmost Twelve. Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1962.
- Of Some Country: 27 poems. Austin, TX: University of Texas, 1963.
- R.D. Lawrence' (poems selected & introduced by the author). Sydney & London: Angus & Robertson, 1963.
- Forty Years' Poems. Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1965.
- One Such Morning. Honolulu, HI: White Knight Press, 1974.
- Product: Later verses. London: Angus & Robertson, 1977.
- The Elements of Poetry. St. Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 1963.
- Of Places and Poetry. St. Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 1976.
- Australian Poetry, 1942. Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1942.
- Mary Gilmore (poems). Sydney & London: Angus & Robertson, 1963.
- Hugh McCrae, The Letters of Hugh McCrae. Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1970.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 William H. Hyde, Joy Hooton, & Barry Andrews, R.D. FitzGerald, Oxford Companion to Australian Literature. Oxford University Press, 1994. Answers.com, Web, Aug. 10, 2014.
- ↑ Modern Australian Poetry: 1920-1970, by Herbert Jaffa, Gale Research Company, 1979
- ↑ OBE 1951
- ↑ AM 1982
- ↑ Search results = au:Robert David FitzGerald, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Aug. 10, 2014.
- R.D. FitzGerald in the Encyclopædia Britannica
- R.D. FitzGerald in the Oxford Companion to Australian Literature
- Fitzgerald, Robert David (Bob) in the Australian Dictionary of Biography
- R.D. FitzGerald: Surveyor of the Literary Landscape, biographical essay by Rafe Champion.
- R. D. FitzGerald and Australian Poetry at Pioneer Books
- Guide to the Papers of Robert D. FitzGerald Academy Library, UNSW@ADFA (Retrieved 13 August 2007)