Jackie Robinson was born on January 31, 1919. He was born in an era when African American athletes were not allowed to compete with white athletes. Jackie Robinson helped to end segregation in baseball. An exceptional athlete, Robinson excelled in multiple sports. When World War II broke out, he left for the Army, and he wouldn’t play until five years later. He helped fight racial barriers within the Army. When ordered to sit at the back of a bus, he refused. This led to his exit from the Army. Celebrate this exceptional athlete and freedom fighter.
Jack Roosevelt Robinson
January 31, 1919
October 24, 1972 (age 53)
Jackie Robinson was born to Jerry Robinson and Mallie McGriff. His was a family of sharecroppers. He was born in Cairo, Georgia. His family relocated to Pasadena, California, where he would grow up. His zodiac sign is Aquarius. Robinson was an African American professional baseball player who was talented at multiple sports. He grew up in abject poverty. He was inspired to focus on sports by his older brother Mack. Mack himself was a successful athlete who would later win an Olympic medal for track sports. Robinson got into Muir High School in 1936. In the same year, he won the junior singles championship and landed a place on the Pomona baseball all-star team. By 1937, he had dominated the school in basketball, football, track, and baseball for two years.
Robinson enrolled in U.C.L.A. in 1939. He became the first student to letter in four different sports categories. He left college to join National Youth Administration, but the government discontinued N.Y.A. shortly after he joined. As a result, he went to play football with the Honolulu Bears in 1941. Robinson joined the Army and enrolled at Officer Candidate School the following year. He received an honorable discharge in 1944.
Robinson signed for the Royals, an affiliate team to the Brooklyn Dodgers, in 1945. He played with the team for the 1946 season. He moved on to the primary team in 1947. Robinson’s presence on the team increased the number of spectators that watched the Dodgers play. By 1950, Jackie Robinson became the highest-paid player on the Dodgers team. He would go on to win six league championships for the Dodgers. Robinson retired in 1956, just after being traded to the New York Giants. After he retired, the number 42 shirt was retired in baseball. He died on October 24, 1972.
He attends the Army officer school and gets commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1943.
After disobeying an order to sit at the back of an Army bus, he gets an honorable discharge from the Army.
Branch Rickey, the president of the Brooklyn Dodgers, signs Robinson to an affiliate team.
After a decent year with the affiliate team, he joins the main team.
He wins the prize with an average batting of 0.342 and is voted the Most Valuable Player (M.V.P.).
Why We Love Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson broke racial barriers
All his life, Robinson fought against racism in baseball. He sacrificed his military career for the cause.
Jackie Robinson was a patriot
When called upon, he served in the Army and contributed his quota to defending his country. He didn't make excuses.
He was skilled in several sports
Robinson didn't limit himself to baseball, and he already played professional basketball before breaking baseball's color barrier. We love versatile people.
5 Surprising Facts
He was named after Teddy Roosevelt
President Theodore Roosevelt, who died 25 days after Jackie was born, inspired Jackie’s middle name.
There’s an asteroid named after him
American astronomer Schelte John “Bobby” Bus discovered an asteroid at the Siding Spring Observatory, in New South Wales, Australia, and named it “4319 Jackierobinson,” after his favorite baseball player, Jackie.
Robinson didn't play baseball for five years
With the outbreak of World War II, Robinson was drafted for active duty, and he didn't play from the age of 21 to 26.
Jackie's teammates signed a petition against him
Some of Jackie Robinson's teammates didn't want an African American on the team, so they signed a petition against his recruitment.
Jackie Robinson received death threats
Many racist people were unhappy with Jackie playing baseball, and they threatened to kill him as he played.
Jackie Robinson FAQs
Does Jackie Robinson have a child?
Yes. He had Sharon Robinson, David Robinson, and Jackie Robinson Jr.
Is Jackie's number retired in all sports?
No. Number 42 is retired only in all baseball teams.
Why did Jackie Robinson retire?
Jackie elected to retire when he was traded to the New York Giants. He didn’t want to play for a rival team.
Jackie Robinson’s birthday dates