Major-leager and American Hero
Born in 1919 in Georgia, Jackie Robinson came from humble beginnings. In 1920, after his father left the family, Jackie, his mother, brothers and sister moved to Pasadena, California. Proving to be an outstanding athlete, Jackie lettered in four major high school sports. In 1939, he repeated that record at UCLA, a record no one had ever achieved before. In 1946, after becoming an army officer, he married Rachel Isum. He joined the Negro League because blacks were not allowed to play sports with whites. In 1947, he was chosen to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was warned, however, that, no matter how badly he was treated by others, he must remain tolerant and patient. Someday he would have his chance to fight back. That year he was named Rookie of the Year. By 1949, he was named Most Valuable Player in the National League. In 1957, he retired from baseball but continued a career of addressing many kinds of unfairness to other Afro-Americans. He traveled the United States, lecturing against drug use and promoting the civil rights of all people. In 1962, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. By the time he died in 1972, Jackie Robinson was a national hero. His life and example have inspired millions of Americans. He proved that anyone--no matter the language, color, or socio-economic background--can achieve almost any goal when equipped with self-confidence and determination.