Did you know? Jack “Jackie” Roosevelt Robinson was born on January 31, 1919 in Cairo Georgia, making this year his hundredth birthday! Jackie made his MLB debut at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, New York in 1947 becoming the first African-American player in Major League Baseball history. He won Rookie of the Year in that same year. After an inspiring, record-setting career, Jackie retired from baseball at the age of 37 for health reasons and became the vice president of personnel for Chock Full O’ Nuts coffee corporation. He was the first African-American vice president of a large American corporation.
Sadly, Jackie died of a heart attack at the young age of 53 on October 24, 1972. His widow started the Jackie Robinson Foundation in 1973 that provides scholarships to minorities. The Presidential Medal of Freedom - the highest award given to a civilian - was posthumously awarded to Robinson by then President Ronald Reagan. Twenty years later, President George W. Bush posthumously awarded Jackie Robinson with the Congressional Gold Medal for his contributions to American history. Wishing a happy hundredth birthday to a truly outstanding athlete and humanitarian who will never be forgotten.
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