Jackie Robinson Bio
Jack Roosevelt Robinson was an American professional baseball player who became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him at first base on April 15, 1947.
|Jackie Robinson Quick Biography|
|Born||He was born on 31 January 1919|
|Died||October 24, 1972, North Stamford, Connecticut, United States|
|Spouse||Rachel Robinson (m. 1946–1972)|
The University of California, Los Angeles (1939–1941),
|Children||Sharon Robinson, Jackie Robinson Jr., David Robinson|
|Net Worth||Update Soon|
Robinson was born on January 31, 1919, into a family of sharecroppers in Cairo, Georgia. He was the youngest of five children born to Mallie (McGriff) and Jerry Robinson, after siblings Edgar, Frank, Matthew (nicknamed “Mack”), and Willa Mae.
His middle name was in honor of former President Theodore Roosevelt, who died 25 days before Robinson was born. After Robinson’s father left the family in 1920, they moved to Pasadena, California.
The extended Robinson family established itself on a residential plot containing two small houses at 121 Pepper Street in Pasadena. Robinson’s mother worked various odd jobs to support the family.
Growing up in relative poverty in an otherwise affluent community, Robinson and his minority friends were excluded from many recreational opportunities. As a result, Robinson joined a neighborhood gang, but his friend Carl Anderson persuaded him to abandon it.
Awards and recognition
According to a poll conducted in 1947, Robinson was the second most popular man in the country, behind Bing Crosby. In 1999, he was named by Time on its list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
Also in 1999, he ranked number 44 on the Sporting News list of Baseball’s 100 Greatest Players and was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team as the top vote-getter among second basemen.
Baseball writer Bill James, in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, ranked Robinson as the 32nd greatest player of all time strictly on the basis of his performance on the field, noting that he was one of the top players in the league throughout his career. Robinson was among the 25 charter members of UCLA’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 1984. In 2002, Molefi Kete Asante included Robinson on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans.
Robinson has also been honored by the United States Postal Service on three separate postage stamps, in 1982, 1999, and 2000.
The City of Pasadena has recognized Robinson in several ways. Brookside Park, situated next to the Rose Bowl, features a baseball diamond and stadium named Jackie Robinson Field.
The city’s Human Services Department operates the Jackie Robinson Center, a community outreach center that provides health services.
In 1997, a $325,000 bronze sculpture (equal to $507,240 today) by artists Ralph Helmick, Stu Schecter, and John Outterbridge depicting oversized nine-foot busts of Robinson and his brother Mack was erected at Garfield Avenue, across from the main entrance of Pasadena City Hall; a granite footprint lists multiple donors to the commission project, which was organized by the Robinson Memorial Foundation and supported by members of the Robinson family.
Family life and death
After Robinson’s retirement from baseball, his wife Rachel Robinson pursued a career in academic nursing. She became an assistant professor at the Yale School of Nursing and director of nursing at the Connecticut Mental Health Center.
She also served on the board of the Freedom National Bank until it closed in 1990. She and Jackie had three children: Jackie Robinson Jr. (1946–1971), Sharon Robinson (b. 1950), and David Robinson (b. 1952).
Robinson’s eldest son, Jackie Robinson Jr., had emotional trouble during his childhood and entered special education at an early age. He enrolled in the Army in search of a disciplined environment, served in the Vietnam War, and was wounded in action on November 19, 1965.
After his discharge, he struggled with drug problems. Robinson Jr. eventually completed the treatment program at Daytop Village in Seymour, Connecticut, and became a counselor at the institution. On June 17, 1971, he was killed in an automobile accident at age 24. The experience with his son’s drug addiction turned Robinson Sr. into an avid anti-drug crusader toward the end of his life.