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Jackie Robinson Biography / Autobiography / Memoir resources

Full Name: Mr. Jack Roosevelt Robinson
Date of Birth: January 31, 1919
Place of Birth: Cairo, Georgia, USA
Died: October 24, 1972
Place of Death: Stamford, Connecticut, USA
Classification: Heroes & Icons

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Short Biography of Jackie Robinson

Perhaps one of the greatest all-around collegiate athletes of the 20 th century, Jackie Robinson was destined to become an icon for the game of baseball when he started in the minor leagues. He was the first African American to play at the Major League Baseball’s professional level. Often patronized, ridiculed, and taunted, Jackie Robinson fought courageous battles on and off the field.

In the 1950 film biography of Jackie Robinson, he plays himself. The film depicts the player as someone who would become a chosen diplomat and figurehead for all other African American athletes who would follow.

When Jackie Robinson’s father abandoned the family in Georgia, Robinson’s mother knew California would be more of an accepting place for her family. She also knew her children would have educational opportunities not found anywhere else. At the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), Jackie Robinson was a star football, basketball, track, and baseball player. He was an All-American long jumper and led the Pacific Coast Conference in scoring in basketball. Additionally, he was an All-American football player and played a shortstop on the baseball team. Jackie didn’t have time to focus on his studies and had to leave college because of financial hardships before finishing his bachelor’s degree.

He enlisted in the Army during World War II then to Officer Candidate School. For his insubordination for not going to the rear of the bus in Fort Hood, he was discharged and later received an honorary discharge when his case was corrected. In 1944, he tried out for the Kansas City Monarchs, which was an all-African American team. He was noticed by a scout and was taken to play in Canada on a minor league team. While there, he was accepted and fared well at the professional level. He was ready to be drafted into the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. As the first African American to play at that level, he had to deal with numerous racial slurs, pitchers who wouldn’t pitch to him, and opposing players who attempted to hurt him during the game.

In 1955, he would help lead the Dodgers to their first World Series Championship in Brooklyn over the Yankees. During his career, he stole more home bases than any other player in any season since, batted an amazing .311 average, and was a player that could smartly play just about any position. His number 42 was retired throughout the Major League when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

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