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Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson was born on the 31st of January 1919 in Georgia. He is an iconic figure, since he was the first black American playing in the major baseball leagues and contributed to the recognition of civil rights to the African Americans.

He was the fifth child in a family of sharecroppers and grew up in poverty, particularly after his father had abandoned the family, shortly after his birth. At high school, Jackie Robinson, given his outstanding athletic ability, excelled at playing baseball, basketball, tennis, track and football. While attending the Junior College, he became member of the baseball team, was elected one of the region’s best players and received an award from the school for his achievements. He graduated in 1939 and continued his athletic career at the University of California in Los Angeles. After being part of the University football league, he played for the Los Angeles Bulldogs Football League. In 1942, with the USA participating in the Word War II, Robinson was called to the Army, where he started a military career as an Officer, despite the difficulties due to its skin color. In the army, he suffered racial discrimination and was charged by the military court for insubordination for having reacted against an offence, due to its skin color. He was then military discharged in 1944 and returned back to California. Robinson played again for some time in the Los Angeles bulldogs, and he was then recruited as a professional baseball player in the Negro League. Being an exceptional player, he finally was offered a contract with the Royals, to play in the International League. Despite the hostile attitude towards a black player, in 1947 he became the first baseman in the major league, playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. That year marked the end of segregation of black baseball players to the Negro league, called the baseball color line . Robinson spent ten years playing in the major league, and his achievements contributed to enforce the establishment of equal rights for black people. He was awarded the National League Most Valuable Player Award, a reward that had a deep impact on the civil rights revolution in the United States of America.

After his retirement, Robinson promoted business initiatives from black entrepreneurs, such as the establishment of the Freedom National Bank, owned by an African American.

In 1972, Jackie Robinson died of a heart attack, and thousands of people assisted to the funeral of one of the most influential people of his times.

 
 

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