Jackie Robinson, 1954
Jack Roosevelt Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was born in Cairo, Georgia, but grew up in southern California. He attended UCLA, where he participated in football, basketball, track, and baseball.
From 1942 to 1944, during World War II, Robinson served with the U.S. Army. Afterward, he briefly played baseball for the Negro League’s Kansas City Monarchs. In 1945, Branch Rickey, president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, signed Robinson to play for the minor league’s Montreal Royals, a Dodgers farm team. In 1947, Robinson was moved to the Dodgers, where he became the first African American in the 20th century to play Major League Baseball.
Despite facing racism from other players, baseball fans, and the general public, Jackie Robinson was an exceptional baseball player, with a .311 batting average, 137 home runs, and 737 runs batted in over the course of his decade-long career with the Dodgers. He is generally considered a second baseman, though he played other positions as well over the years.
After his retirement from baseball in 1957, Robinson became a businessman and championed civil rights causes. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
Jackie Robinson died in 1972. His uniform number (42) was retired from all of Major League Baseball in 1997, on the 50th anniversary of his debut with the Dodgers. April 15 is Jackie Robinson Day in Major League Baseball.
Learn more about Jackie Robinson through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.
Articles and Clippings about Jackie Robinson
Photos and article from Jackie Robinson's time playing football for UCLA, 1939 Sat, Oct 28, 1939 – 12 · The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California) · Newspapers.comPhoto from Jackie Robinson's time on the UCLA football team, 1939 Wed, Oct 11, 1939 – Page 11 · Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) · Newspapers.comJackie Robinson passes military physical exam, 1942 Sat, Apr 4, 1942 – 13 · The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California) · Newspapers.comJackie Robinson reports for duty at Army's officer candidate school, 1942 Tue, Nov 10, 1942 – Page 10 · Santa Ana Register (Santa Ana, California) · Newspapers.comPhoto of Jackie Robinson signing with the Montreal Royals in 1945 Wed, Oct 24, 1945 – Page 17 · The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York) · Newspapers.comJackie Robinson plays in minor league all-star game, 1946 Wed, Oct 9, 1946 – Page 26 · The Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comSports column on Jackie Robinson's history-making first game with the Dodgers in 1947 Wed, Apr 16, 1947 – 17 · Hartford Courant (Hartford, Connecticut) · Newspapers.comAccount of Jackie Robinson's debut game with the Dodgers in 1947 Wed, Apr 16, 1947 – Page 19 · The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York) · Newspapers.com1947 interview with Jackie Robinson Mon, Apr 21, 1947 – Page 3 · The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York) · Newspapers.comJackie Robinson named MLB's Rookie of the Year in 1947 Sun, Nov 9, 1947 – Page 29 · St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri) · Newspapers.comJackie Robinson named National League's Most Valuable Player in 1949 Fri, Nov 18, 1949 – 13 · Lincoln Journal Star (Lincoln, Nebraska) · Newspapers.comJackie Robinson plays himself in a 1950 movie about his life Sun, May 14, 1950 – Page 30 · The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York) · Newspapers.comJackie Robinson becomes first African American named to Baseball Hall of Fame, 1962 Wed, Jan 24, 1962 – 8 · The Daily Times (Davenport, Iowa) · Newspapers.comPhoto of Jackie Robinson and Martin Luther King, 1963 Tue, May 14, 1963 – 7 · The Miami News (Miami, Florida) · Newspapers.comJackie Robinson and Martin Luther King participate in 1964 civil rights march on Kentucky capitol Fri, Mar 6, 1964 – Page 1 · The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky) · Newspapers.comCoverage of Jackie Robinson's death in 1972, including obituary and funeral information Wed, Oct 25, 1972 – 8 · Hartford Courant (Hartford, Connecticut) · Newspapers.comMLB retires Jackie Robinson's uniform number in 1997 Thu, Apr 17, 1997 – Page 10 · The Des Moines Register (Des Moines, Iowa) · Newspapers.comArticle about the role Jackie Robinson's wife played in his breaking baseball's color barrier Sat, Jan 16, 1999 – Page 36 · The Indianapolis Star (Indianapolis, Indiana) · Newspapers.com