10 Things Most People Don't Know About Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson

People all over the world know Jackie Robinson as one of the greatest baseball legends of all time. He was the first African American to play in Major League Baseball, and also the first Black person to hold the position of Vice President at a major American corporation (Chock Full O' Nuts Coffee). Many people don't know this, but he also played professional basketball for UCLA.
Here are 10 more facts about Jackie Robinson that most people don’t know:

#1 - Jackie’s middle name is Roosevelt, named after President Theodore Roosevelt, who took somewhat of a stand against racism.

#2 - He was skilled in many other sports besides baseball. He was the first athlete in UCLA history to letter in four sports - football, basketball, baseball and track.

#3 - When he was in the Army, Jackie refused to sit in the back of the bus and faced a possible court martial... but was later honorably discharged.

#4 - He was good friends with famous boxer, Joe Louis, whom he met while in basic training in the Army. He and Louis played golf together in their free time.

#5 - Jackie played for the Negro League, the Minor League as well as the Major League... becoming one of the few players to accomplish this feat.

#6 - Jackie’s brother, Mack, was also a great athlete, winning the silver medal in the 200m event (legend Jesse Owens finished first) at the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics.

#7 - He won the Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year in 1947, the first year it was awarded.

#8 - Jackie starred as himself in a 1950 Hollywood film called “The Jackie Robinson Story,” making him one of the first Black actors to star in his own film.

#9 - At the end of his career, Jackie was traded to the New York Giants, but he chose to retire rather than play for any team except the Dodgers.

#10 - In 1970, he created the Jackie Robinson Construction company to build homes for low income families. Sadly, he died in October 1972.

Watch a mini-bio about Jackie Robinson's life: