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Jackie Robinson Biography

Jackie Robinson Biography Name            : Jack Roosevelt " Jackie " Robinson Born: January 31, 1919 Cairo, Georgia, U.S. ...

Jackie Robinson Biography
Name            : Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson
Born: January 31, 1919
Cairo, Georgia, U.S.
Died: October 24, 1972 (aged 53)
Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.
Jackie Robinson was born on January 31, 1919, into a family of sharecroppers in Cairo, Georgia, during a Spanish flu and smallpox epidemic. He was the youngest of five children, after siblings Edgar, Frank, Matthew (nicknamed "Mack"), and Willa Mae. His middle name was in honor of former President Theodore Roosevelt, who died twenty-five days before Robinson was born. After Robinson's father left the family in 1920, they moved to Pasadena, California. The extended Robinson family established itself on a residential plot containing two small houses at 121 Pepper Street in Pasadena. Robinson's mother worked various odd jobs to support the family. Growing up in relative poverty in an otherwise affluent community, Robinson and his minority friends were excluded from many recreational opportunities. As a result, Robinson joined a neighborhood gang, but his friend Carl Anderson persuaded him to abandon it.

Jackie Robinson  was an American baseball player who became the first black Major League Baseball (MLB) player of the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. As the first black man to play in the major leagues since the 1880s, he was instrumental in bringing an end to racial segregation in professional baseball, which had relegated black players to the Negro leagues for six decades. The example of his character and unquestionable talent challenged the traditional basis of segregation, which then marked many other aspects of American life, and contributed significantly to the Civil Rights Movement.

In addition to his cultural impact, Robinson had an exceptional baseball career. Over ten seasons, he played in six World Series and contributed to the Dodgers' 1955 World Championship. He was selected for six consecutive All-Star Games from 1949 to 1954 was the recipient of the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947, and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949—the first black player so honored. Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. In 1997, Major League Baseball retired his uniform number, 42, across all major league teams.

Robinson was also known for his pursuits outside the baseball diamond. He was the first black television analyst in Major League Baseball, and the first black vice-president of a major American corporation. In the 1960s, he helped establish the Freedom National Bank, an African-American-owned financial institution based in Harlem, New York. In recognition of his achievements on and off the field, Robinson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

In 1935, Robinson graduated from Washington Junior High School and enrolled at John Muir High School (Muir Tech). Recognizing his athletic talents, Robinson's older brothers Mack (himself an accomplished athlete and silver medalist at the 1936 Summer Olympics) and Frank inspired Jackie to pursue his interest in sports. At Muir Tech, Robinson played several sports at the varsity level and lettered in four of them: football, basketball, track, and baseball. He played shortstop and catcher on the baseball team, quarterback on the football team, and guard on the basketball team. With the track and field squad, he won awards in the broad jump. He was also a member of the tennis team.

In 1936, Robinson won the junior boys singles championship in the annual Pacific Coast Negro Tennis Tournament and earned a place on the Pomona annual baseball tournament all-star team, which included future Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Bob Lemon. In late January 1937, the Pasadena Star-News newspaper reported that Robinson "for two years has been the outstanding athlete at Muir, starring in football, basketball, track, baseball and tennis.

After graduating from PJC in spring 1939,[33] Robinson transferred to UCLA, where he became the school's first athlete to win varsity letters in four sports: baseball, basketball, football, and track. He was one of four black players on the 1939 UCLA Bruins football team; the others were Woody Strode, Kenny Washington, and Ray Bartlett. Washington, Strode, and Robinson made up three of the team's four backfield players. At a time when only a handful of black players existed in mainstream college football, this made UCLA college football's most integrated team. In track and field, Robinson won the 1940 NCAA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championship in the Long Jump, jumping 24'10.5". Belying his future career, baseball was Robinson's "worst sport" at UCLA; he hit .097 in his only season, although in his first game he went 4-for-4 and twice stole home.

While a senior at UCLA, Robinson met his future wife, Rachel Isum, a UCLA freshman who was familiar with Robinson's athletic career at PJC. In the spring semester of 1941, despite his mother's and Isum's reservations, Robinson left college just shy of graduation. He took a job as an assistant athletic director with the government's National Youth Administration (NYA) in Atascadero, California.

After the government ceased NYA operations, Jackie Robinson traveled to Honolulu in fall 1941 to play football for the semi-professional, racially integrated Honolulu Bears. After a short season, Robinson returned to California in December 1941 to pursue a career as running back for the Los Angeles Bulldogs of the Pacific Coast Football League. By that time, however, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor had taken place, drawing the United States into World War II and ending Robinson's nascent football career
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