- NAME: Jackie Robinson
- OCCUPATION: Baseball Player
- BIRTH DATE: January 31, 1919
- DEATH DATE: October 24, 1972
- Did You Know?: Before becoming a professional baseball player, Jackie Robinson played football for the Honolulu Bears.
- Did You Know?: While serving as a lieutenant for the U.S. Army in 1944, Jackie Robinson was court-martialed after refusing to move to the back of a segregated bus. He was ultimately acquitted.
- Did You Know?: Before offering Jackie Robinson the contract that integrated professional baseball, Branch Rickey personally tested Robinson's reactions to racial slurs and insults that he anticipated.
- Did You Know?: Jackie Robinson became the first black player in the major leagues in 1947, signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
- Did You Know?: Jackie Robinson had an older brother, Matthew, who won a silver medal in the 200-meter dash at the 1936 Olympics. He came in second to Jesse Owens.
- Did You Know?: After retiring from baseball, Robinson helped establish the African American-owned and -controlled Freedom Bank.
- EDUCATION: John Muir High School, Pasadena Junior College, University of California, Los Angeles
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Cairo, Georgia
- PLACE OF DEATH: Stamford, Connecticut
- Originally: Jack Roosevelt Robinson
Best Known For
Jackie Robinson became the first black player in the major leagues in 1947, signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was named Rookie of the Year in 1947, National League MVP in 1949 and a World Series champ in 1955.
Jackie Robinson - Full Episode (22:48)
Watch a short video about Jackie Robinson and the many barriers he faced as Major League Baseball's first African-American player.
Jackie Robinson broke many boundaries as one of the greatest players in Brooklyn Dodger and Major League Baseball history.
While serving in the military, Jackie Robinson was arrested for refusing to move to the back of a segregated bus. In 1947, he made history when his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers ended racial segregation in Major League Baseball.
In his quest for excellence and equality, all-star athlete Jackie Robinson shatters the barriers of racism to become the first black baseball player to play in the major leagues.
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In 1952, he publicly called out the Yankees as a racist organization for not having broken the color barrier five years after he began playing with the Dodgers.
In his decade-long career with the Dodgers, Robinson and his team won the National League pennant several times. Finally, in 1955, he helped them achieve the ultimate victory: the World Series. After failing before in four other series match-ups,
the Dodgers beat the New York Yankees. He helped the team win one more National League pennant the following season, and was then traded to the New York Giants. Jackie Robinson retired shortly after the trade, on January 5, 1957, with an impressive career batting average of .311.
After baseball, Robinson became active in business and continued his work as an activist for social change. He worked as an executive for the Chock Full O' Nuts coffee company and restaurant chain, and helped establish the African American-owned and -controlled Freedom Bank. He served on the board of the NAACP until 1967 and was the first African-American to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. In 1972, the Dodgers retired his uniform number of 42.
In his later years, Robinson continued to lobby for greater integration in sports. He died from heart problems and diabetes complications on October 24, 1972, in Stamford, Connecticut. He was survived by his wife, Rachel Isum, and two of their three children. After his death, his wife established the Jackie Robinson Foundation dedicated to honoring his life and work. The foundation helps young people in need by providing scholarships and mentoring programs.
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