Jackie Robinson was a trailblazing athlete and civil rights activist who broke barriers and paved the way for future generations. His contributions to society went far beyond his impressive athletic achievements. He used his platform to fight for racial equality, breaking down segregation in sports and beyond. Despite facing intense discrimination and threats, Robinson remained committed to his cause, and his impact on American history is still felt today.
Jackie Robinson Facts For Kids
Who was Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson was a legendary baseball player who made history by becoming the first African American to play in Major League Baseball. Jackie had an amazing career as a professional athlete and is remembered for his courage, determination and skill on the field.
Where jackie robinson was born
He was born on January 31, 1919 in Cairo, Georgia and moved with his family to California when he was a young boy.
Jackie Robinson’s early life and education
Jackie Robinson grew up in Cairo, Georgia. His parents, Mallie and Jerry were sharecroppers on a farm owned by another family. They lived in extreme poverty but despite their hardships they made sure that young Jackie had access to education and sports opportunities like football, basketball, track & field and of course baseball!
At age 16 he moved with his mother to Pasadena California where he finished high school at John Muir High School before attending college at UCLA (University of California Los Angeles).
During this time Jackie excelled both academically as well as athletically playing four different varsity sports; football , basketball ,track & field along with baseball which eventually led him into the major leagues making history for all Americans regardless of race or color!
Jackie Robinson’s baseball career
Jackie Robinson played his first professional game with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Jackie Robinson made history by becoming the first African American to play Major League Baseball, breaking down racial barriers and paving a path for future generations of athletes who looked like him.
Jackie Robinson’s baseball career was marked by exceptional talent and a steadfast commitment to breaking down barriers.
- After a successful college athletic career, Robinson played briefly in the Negro Leagues before being signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945.
- He spent two years playing for the Montreal Royals, the Dodgers’ minor league team, before finally making his debut in the Major Leagues on April 15, 1947.
- Robinson faced intense discrimination and abuse from fans, players, and even his own teammates, but he remained focused and determined to succeed.
- His talent on the field quickly became apparent, and he was named Rookie of the Year in 1947. Robinson continued to excel in the years that followed, leading the Dodgers to multiple National League pennants and winning the National League MVP award in 1949.
- He retired in 1956 with a career batting average of .311 and numerous other accolades, but his legacy went far beyond his statistics.
- Robinson’s bravery and resilience helped to break down racial barriers in sports and inspire a new generation of athletes.
Jackie Robinson’s impact on Civil Rights
- Jackie Robinson’s impact on civil rights went far beyond his achievements on the baseball diamond. Through his success and perseverance, he became a symbol of hope and progress for Black Americans and inspired change in all areas of society.
- Robinson used his platform to speak out against racial injustice, urging MLB and the broader society to embrace integration and equality.
- He worked with prominent civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and advocated for a more inclusive society.
- Robinson also served as an ambassador of goodwill for the US government, using his international travels to promote American values of freedom and equality.
- His impact on civil rights was immense, and his legacy continues to inspire new generations of activists and leaders.
- Robinson’s courage and conviction helped to lay the foundation for the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and his legacy serves as a reminder of the power of individual action to effect social change.
Jackie Robinson’s legacy and honors
Jackie Robinson’s legacy as a trailblazing athlete and civil rights activist has been recognized in numerous ways.
- He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, becoming the first Black player to receive the honor.
- The annual Rookie of the Year award in Major League Baseball is named after him, and his uniform number 42 has been retired by all MLB teams in his honor.
- In addition to these sports-related honors, Robinson received a number of accolades for his contributions to civil rights and social justice.
- He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, and his life and legacy have been celebrated in countless books, films, and other cultural works.
- Robinson’s courage and determination continue to inspire people around the world, and his legacy stands as a testament to the power of individual action to effect positive change.
Why Jackie Robinson is famous
- Jackie Robinson is famous for being the first Black athlete to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) in the modern era.
- His debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, broke down the color barrier that had long existed in professional sports, paving the way for future generations of Black athletes.
- Robinson’s exceptional talent on the field and his unwavering commitment to social justice made him a trailblazer and an inspiration to people around the world.
- Beyond his baseball career, Robinson was also a prominent civil rights activist who used his platform to fight for racial equality and justice.
- He remains an iconic figure in American history, and his legacy continues to inspire new generations of activists and athletes.
Why Jackie Robinson is a hero
Breaking down racial barriers:
Robinson’s entry into Major League Baseball broke down the color barrier in professional sports and paved the way for future generations of Black athletes.
Courage and perseverance:
Despite facing intense discrimination and hostility from fans, players, and even his own teammates, Robinson remained steadfast and focused on his goals.
Robinson’s skills as a baseball player were exceptional, and he quickly proved himself to be one of the best players in the league.
Robinson used his platform to advocate for racial equality and justice, and he worked with other civil rights leaders to effect change in all areas of society.
Robinson served as an ambassador of goodwill for the US government, using his international travels to promote American values of freedom and equality.
Legacy and inspiration:
Robinson’s legacy continues to inspire people around the world, and his life and achievements serve as a reminder of the power of individual action to effect positive change.
How Jackie Robinson died
Jackie Robinson died of a heart attack on October 24, 1972, at the age of 53. He had been in poor health for some time, and had suffered from diabetes and heart problems. Robinson’s death was a great loss to the sports world and to the broader community of people who had been inspired by his courage and perseverance in the face of adversity.
Jackie Robinson family life
Jackie Robinson was married to Rachel Robinson, whom he met while attending UCLA. They were married on February 10, 1946, and remained together until Jackie’s death in 1972. The couple had three children: Jackie Jr., Sharon, and David.
Jackie Jr. was born in November 1946, just months after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball. Sharon was born in January 1950, and David was born in 1952.
The Robinson family faced numerous challenges as a result of Jackie’s groundbreaking career and activism. They endured threats, harassment, and discrimination, but remained committed to their values and to each other. Rachel Robinson was also a prominent activist in her own right, and worked with her husband to promote civil rights and social justice.
After Jackie’s death, Rachel continued to be a prominent advocate for social justice and founded the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which provides educational and leadership opportunities for young people from diverse backgrounds. The Robinson family’s legacy is a testament to their strength, courage, and commitment to making the world a better place.
How much did Jackie Robinson make
- Jackie Robinson’s salary varied over the course of his baseball career. In his first year with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, he earned a salary of $5,000.
- By 1951, his salary had increased to $35,000, making him one of the highest-paid players in the league.
- Robinson’s salary continued to rise throughout the 1950s, and he earned a total of approximately $225,000 over his 10-year career in Major League Baseball.
- It’s worth noting that these figures reflect only Robinson’s baseball earnings and do not take into account his other sources of income, such as endorsements, speaking engagements, and other business ventures.
Jackie Robinson unknown facts
He was court-martialed during his time in the army:
In 1944, while serving in the United States Army, Robinson refused to give up his seat on a bus to a white passenger, as was the custom at the time. He was subsequently court-martialed for this act of defiance, but was later acquitted.
He was an excellent all-around athlete:
While Robinson is most famous for his baseball career, he was also a talented football player and track and field athlete. He won a silver medal in the long jump at the 1940 NCAA Championships, and was offered a contract to play for the Los Angeles Rams football team before deciding to focus on baseball.
He was a political independent:
While Robinson was a prominent civil rights activist and worked with both Democratic and Republican politicians on various issues, he himself was not affiliated with any political party and remained a political independent throughout his life.
He was a successful businessman:
After retiring from baseball, Robinson started several successful business ventures, including a construction company, a bank, and a restaurant chain.
He had a complicated relationship with Muhammad Ali:
While Robinson was a prominent advocate for civil rights and social justice, he was also critical of Muhammad Ali’s decision to refuse to be drafted into the Vietnam War. The two men had a public feud that lasted for many years, but eventually reconciled in the 1980s.