Jackie Robinson was a legendary African-American baseball player. He made a significant contribution to the black cause. Read on to know some facts about his life.
Regardless of what happens to me in the future, it all can be placed on what you have done and, believe me, I appreciate it. - Jackie Robinson (in a letter to Branch Rickey after he retired as Manager of Brooklyn Dodgers)
Jackie Robinson was a famous African-American baseball player and a sporting icon. He received innumerable sporting awards and is widely regarded as an American sporting legend. He also played a role in the black Civil Rights Movement.
Basic Facts about Jackie Robinson
Birth Name: Jack Roosevelt Robinson
Born: January 31, 1919 in Cairo, Georgia, U.S.
Died: October 24, 1972 in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S. (Age 53)
Family: Jackie was the youngest of 5 siblings - Edgar, Frank, Matthew and Willa Mae being the others. Matthew was a silver medalist at the 1936 Summer Olympics. Jackie married Rachel Isum in 1946. He has three children - Jackie Robinson Jr., Sharon Robinson and David Robinson.
Education: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Profession: Baseball player
Robinson attended Washington Junior High School in 1935.
Did you know that Jackie did not complete graduation? He quit UCLA just before graduating, to take up a job as assistant athletic director with National Youth Administration.
When he joined the team, Jackie became the first African-American player to join the MLB (Major League Baseball)
Jackie won the first ever MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947.
Such was his contribution to baseball that in 1997, MLB retired Jackie's uniform number (42) across all Major League teams! Mariano Rivera was the last one to ever wear number 42.
Jackie was one of the major driving forces to end racial segregation in professional baseball.
He was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his on and off-field contributions in the year 1984.
I do not care if the guy is yellow or black... I'm the manager of this team, and I say he plays. What's more, I say he can make us all rich. And if any of you cannot use the money, I will see that you are all traded. - Leo Durocher, Manager, Brooklyn Dodgers
Did you know Jackie played for the Negro leagues, the Minor League as well as the Major League?
Jackie started his baseball career with the Kansas City Moarchs, playing for a mere $400 a month!
Did you know Branch Rickey, general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, signed Jackie for $600 a month after a 3-hour long interview? Rickey made Jackie commit that he wouldn't react angrily to the color discrimination he might inevitably be subjected to.
On 23 October 1945, he signed a contract to play for Montreal Royals.
In 1946, Jackie played professional basketball for Los Angeles Red Devils.
Jackie's Major League debut was on 15 April 1947, at the Ebbets Field, becoming the first player to break the color segregation of the MLB since the 1880s.
After an illustrious career, Jackie retired from major league baseball in 1956.
6 consecutive All-Star games - 1949 to 1954
National League Most Valuable Player - 1949
World Series Champion - 1955
Inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame - 1962 (the first black to gain the honor)
Not Just Baseball
Did you know Jackie served in the U.S. Army from 1942-1945? He became Second Lieutenant during his service.
In honor of his person, Jackie's picture features on a US postage stamp.
Jackie starred in the biopic 'The Jackie Robinson Story' in 1950.
Robinson became Vice President of Chock full o'Nuts in 1957, the first black to hold the position of Vice-President with a major American corporation.
Jackie served in numerous campaigns and on the Board of Directors for National Association for the Advancement of Colored People from 1957-1967.
Jackie formed the Jackie Robinson Construction Company in 1970 to build housing for families with low incomes.
Jackie was inducted into UCLA's Hall of Fame on June 10, 1984.
In 1976, four years after his demise, Jackie's home in Brooklyn was declared a National Historic Landmark.
In 1999, Time Magazine named Robinson on its list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
On August 20, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that Jackie was inducted into the California Hall of Fame.
Indeed a man who more than just proved his worth, the life and story of Jackie Robinson is one that will leave you in awe and will inspire you like none other.