10+ Lesser Known Facts About Jackie Robinson

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Jackie Robinson is most known for breaking the color barrier in baseball. He started playing Major League Baseball in 1947 and was actively involved in the civil rights movement.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Here are some lesser known facts about the legendary player:

1. He was named after a president.

Jackie Robinson’s full name is Jack Roosevelt Robinson. His middle name was an honor of Pres. Theodore Roosevelt, who died 25 days before Robinson was born.

2. 42

Robinson’s jersey number of 42 is officially retired throughout Major League Baseball. It’s the only time that a jersey number has been retired by an entire professional sports league.

Photo Credit: Public Domain

3. He switched his support.

Robinson became a Democrat after becoming disillusioned with Republicans and their lack of support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

4. He’s not the only athlete in the family.

Robinson’s brother Mack finished second to Jesse Owens in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.

5. He did speaking tours.

Robinson did speaking tours during the off-season. These tours paid him more than his contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers did.

6. He started a bank.

Robinson co-founded a black-owned and -operated bank after his retirement.

7. He was a veteran.

Robinson was an Army veteran and was court-martialed during his service for refusing to give up his seat on the segregated bus. He was acquitted of the charges.

Photo Credit: Public Domain

8. He starred in his own biopic.

Jackie Robinson played himself in a biopic about his life, which was released in 1950.

9. You can visit his home.

Jackie Robinson’s former home in Brooklyn, New York, is now a National Historical Landmark.

10. He continued to break barriers after baseball.

After retiring from baseball, Robinson became the first black vice president of a major American corporation when he joined Chock Full O’ Nuts as vice president of personnel.

Robinson with his 11-year-old son at the March on Washington
Photo Credit: Public Domain

11. His foundation helps athletes today.

The Jackie Robinson Foundation, which was founded in 1973 by his wife, still provides scholarships and support services to minority students to this day.