Who was Jackie Roosevelt Robinson? How did he contribute to where we are today? Jackie’s life was filled with trials and discouragement, he suffered through financial problems that he had to contribute to solving as a young boy. He even suffered career struggles, when he was racially abused for his skin color. Did he persevere? Or did he drown in his many trials and tribulations?
Firstly, there’s his early life and the people in it. Jackie Roosevelt Robinson was born January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia (42 facts about Jackie Robinson) to his parents Jackie and Mallie Robinson and their four other children. (Jackie Robinson Facts) His middle name was inspired by the president Theodore Roosevelt who has passed away 25 days before Jackie was born. (42 facts about Jackie Robinson)
Unfortunately, Jackie’s father abandoned his family and fled their home with the neighbor’s wife. Soon after the upset neighbor who owned the estate evicted the family.(encyclopedia) Causing the kids to grow up in relative poverty in a wealthy community in Pasadena. Later, Jackie chose to work multiple jobs to give his mother money to buy food and clothes for his siblings. (Schaefer, Lola) Jackie also joined a gang in his teenage years to make money for the family but left soon after. (Falkner, David)
Now, there are the events during his midlife. Jackie went to UCLA, which is the University of California in Los Angeles. There he was the schools first four-letter athlete and played many other sports than just baseball, which was his main passion. (I Never Had it Made) During his time at UCLA, he met Rachel Islum whom he later married and had 3 kids with (2 boys and a girl). (Obias, Rudie)
Moving on to one of the things that Jackie is most known for, baseball. Jackie played for the Brooklyn Dodgers and was number forty-two. (Arnold, Rampersad) He also played for the Kansas City Monarchs and signed a contract in 1945 to play shortstop for $400 a month. (Facts About Jackie Robinson) The main reason he is one of the most popular or familiar baseball players is that he was the first African American athlete who was in the major leagues during the twentieth century. (Jackie Robinson Biography)
Sadly, during the time Jackie was playing baseball he suffered through racist pitchers who hit him with pitches a whopping seventy-two times throughout his career. (50 Facts About Jackie Robinson) He also was subject to spectators who would often yell offensive, racist comments at him while he played. Not only that, but he also was racially abused and bullied from other baseball teams, baseball fans, and even his own teammates when he was signed by the Dodgers. (Jackie Robinson Facts)
Now, there is his later life. In the year 1950, there was a film released about his life that he agreed to play himself in. The main focus of the film was his battle to continue playing baseball with all of the racial aggression at that time. (Jackie Robinson Facts) He was also inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. He was the very first African American Major League Baseball Television commentator too.
Finally, we have to come to his death, Jackie Robinson passed away in Stamford, Connecticut from a heart attack and diabetes complications in the year 1972 at the age of only fifty-three. (Jackie Robinson Biography)
After his death, one of Robinson’s former homes in Brooklyn, New York that he lived in while playing for the Dodgers was turned into a National Historic Landmark in 1976. (30 Fun and Interesting Facts About Jackie Robinson) He was even posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on March 26, 1984, by President Ronald Reagan. (Facts about Jackie Robinson) He’s also made a difference with the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which sends thousands of knowledgeable kids who are in need of financial help, to school. (Baseball Has Done it)
Unfortunately, Jackie’s eldest son Jackie Robinson Jr. passed at the age of only twenty-four in a car accident and was buried next to his father and grandmother. (Find A Grave) On the bright side in 1999 Jackie Robinson was added to the Major League All-Century team. (Jackie Robinson Facts) Not only that but the asteroid 4319 Jackie Robinson was named after Jackie on March 1, 1981, by the astronomer Schelte John Bobby Bus who claimed that Jackie was his favorite baseball player. (42 Facts About Jackie Robinson)
What happened to the Famous number forty-two that he wore throughout his time with the Dodgers after he died? Number forty-two was retired along with Jackie all across Major League Baseball. (Jackie Robinson Facts)
To finish off the numerous facts and events that were apart of Jackie’s life. There is a celebration each season when every team in the Major League celebrates when he truly broke the color barrier in baseball on April 15th. (National Baseball Hall of Fame: Jackie Robinson)
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