Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was the first African-American Major League Baseball player of the modern era. Although not the first African-American professional baseball player in United States history, Robinson's 1947 Major League debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers ended approximately 60 years of baseball segregation, breaking the baseball color line, or color barrier. At that time in the United States, many white people believed that blacks and whites should be kept apart in many aspects of life, including sports. Despite this obstacle, Robinson went on to have an exceptional baseball career.
Robinson played on six World Series teams and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. He earned six consecutive All-Star Game nominations and won several awards during his career. In 1947, Jackie won The Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award and the first MLB Rookie of the Year Award. Two years later, he won the National League MVP Award—the first black player to do so. On April 15, 1997, the 50-year anniversary of his debut, Major League Baseball retired Robinson's jersey number 42 across all MLB teams in recognition of his accomplishments in a ceremony at Shea Stadium.
He also had success away from the baseball field. Robinson was the first African-American Major League Baseball analyst and the first black vice president of a major American corporation. In the 1960s, he helped to establish the Freedom National Bank, an African-American owned and controlled entity based in Harlem, New York. Due to his achievements, Robinson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. In 1950, he played himself in the biographical film The Jackie Robinson Story. In 1946, Robinson married Rachel Annetta Isum, and after Robinson died of a heart attack in 1972, she founded the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
It should be noted that Robinson was NOT the best player of the Negro League. But, he had the CHARACTER to withstand the two years of racial torment that went with the position of being ' The First Black'. Robinson was the first player at UCLA to letter in FOUR SPORTS in one year. He was also an OFFICER in the Army, and was once arrested by military police for refusing to move to the back of a bus on account of his race. Jackie Robinson was, in every way, a ' Race Man'.
The Official Site of Jackie Robinson
The Jackie Robinson Foundation
I Never Had It Made: An Autobiography of Jackie Robinson by Jackie Robinson, Alfred Duckett
Jackie Robinson: A Biography by Arnold Rampersad
Promises To Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America by Sharon Robinson
Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season by Jonathan Eig
A Picture Book of Jackie Robinson (Picture Book Biography)by David A. Adler (Author), Robert Casilla (Illustrator)
The Story of Jackie Robinson: Bravest Man in Baseball by Margaret Davidson
Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy by Jules Tygiel
The Jackie Robinson Story - DVD
In COLOR! Also Includes the Original Black-and-White Version which has been Beautifully Restored and Enhanced! (1950)
Starring: Jackie Robinson, Ruby Dee
Court Martial of Jackie Robinson (1990)-VHS
Starring: Andre Braugher, Daniel Stern