Jackie Robinson Biography

Jackie Robinson was the first African-American to play in the Major League Baseball (MLB). Read about his childhood, achievements, life and timeline in this biography.

Jackie Robinson
Quick Facts

Birthday: January 31, 1919

Nationality: American

Famous: African Americans African American Men

Died At Age: 53

Sun Sign: Aquarius

Also Known As: Jack Roosevelt

Born in: Cairo


Spouse/Ex-: Rachel Robinson

father: Jerry

mother: Mallie Robinson

siblings: Edgar, Frank, Matthew, Willa Mae

children: David Robinson, Jackie Robinson Jr., Sharon Robinson

Died on: October 24, 1972

place of death: Stamford

U.S. State: Georgia

Ideology: Republicans

Diseases & Disabilities: Visual Impairment

More Facts

education: Pasadena City College (1937–1939), John Muir High School, University of California, Los Angeles

awards: 1949 - All-Star
1950 - All-Star
1951 - All-Star

1952 - All-Star
1953 - All-Star
1954 - All-Star
1945 - Negro League All-Star selection
1955 - World Series champion
1949 - NL MVP
1947 - MLB Rookie of the Year
1949 - National League Batting Title
1947 - National League Stolen Bases Champion
1949 - National League Stolen Bases Champion

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Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play the Major League Baseball, is one of the most inspirational and towering figures of the 20th century. Withstanding the racial segregation prevalent during his time, Robinson proved to the world that the spirit of a game has nothing to do with color or race. Not only he set an example but also helped a whole generation of young African-American players enter the Major Baseball League. For him, baseball was more than a game - it was a medium to express his views on racism and to show that he was no different from anyone else in the team. However, his journey from a discriminated baseball player to one of the highly-recognized players was quite audacious. As he played for the Dodgers, he faced several threats and was even booed by the audiences. Even his family was not spared, but Robinson had only one thought in his mind – to play his game no matter what. And so he did! He emerged as one of the greatest players in the history of American baseball, who survived racial discrimination impeding their path. After so many achievements and records, he was bestowed with several honors and many institutions were set up in his name.

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Jackie Robinson
Childhood & Early Life
  • Born to Jerry and Mallie Robinson, Jackie was the youngest of the five children in the family.
  • In 1920, after his father abandoned his family, they moved to Pasadena, California, where his mother took sundry jobs to sustain her family.
  • He graduated from Washington Junior High School in 1935. He was sent to the John Muir High School where his athletic talents were discovered. He excelled in most of the sports, especially football, basketball, track, and baseball.
  • After completing studies in John Muir, he attended the Pasadena Junior College from where he graduated in 1939. He was enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles and became its first student to win varsity letters in four sports - baseball, basketball, football, and track.
  • However, in 1941, he had to quit college, owing to financial difficulties and move to Hawaii, where he played soccer for the semi-professional Honolulu Bears.
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Awards & Achievements
  • Robinson was named the ‘Rookie of the Year’ in 1947 with a batting average of .297, 175 hits and 12 home runs.
  • In 1949, he earned the title of ‘Most Valuable Player’ for a batting average of .342.
  • He was inducted into the ‘Baseball Hall of Fame’ in 1962, becoming the first African-American to have earned this honor.
  • He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in America, on March 26, 1984, and the Congressional Gold Medal on March 2, 2005.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • Robinson married Rachel Isum, whom he met at the University of California, in 1946. The couple had three children Jackie Robinson Jr., Sharon Robinson and David Robinson.
  • He died of a heart attack at the age of 53 and his funeral was attended by thousands of people.
  • After his death, his wife established the ‘Jackie Robinson Foundation’ in 1973 with the aim of providing scholarships to minority youths for higher education.
  • In 2002, he was included in the ‘100 Greatest African-Americans’ list and a ‘Jackie Robinson Award’ was created in the Aflac National High School in 2004.
  • In April 1997, hi jersey number 42 was retired in his honor.
  • While serving the U.S. army, this baseball player who was the first African-American to play in the Major Leagues, faced court-martial for refusing to sit on the back of a bus.

See the events in life of Jackie Robinson in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Jackie Robinson Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- TheFamousPeople.com
Last Updated
- September 14, 2017

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