Jackie Robinson broke the colour barrier when he became the first black athlete to play Major League Baseball in the 20th century. He joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 and was named Rookie of the Year that year, National League MVP in 1949 and a World Series champ in 1955.
BORN: January 31, 1919 in Cairo, Georgia
DIED: October 24, 1972 in Stamford, Connecticut
DID YOU KNOW?
- Before becoming a professional baseball player, Jackie Robinson played football for the Honolulu Bears.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- After retiring from baseball, Robinson helped establish the African American-owned and -controlled Freedom Bank.
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