On January 31, 1919 – today 100 years ago – Jackie Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia. 28 years later he broke the baseball color line and became the first African American who played in a large sports team. Here are 42 facts to celebrate the legendary athlete.
. 1 Jack "Jackie" Roosevelt Robinson was born on January 31, 1919 in Cairo, Georgia. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Pasadena, California.
. 2 President Theodore Roosevelt, who died 25 days before Robinson's birth, was the inspiration for his middle name.
. 3 He was the youngest of five children ̵
. 4 Robinson attended John Muir High School, where he was placed in the All-Star team of the Pomona Annual Baseball Tournament with the future Baseball Hall of Famers Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox and Bob Lemon of the Cleveland Indians.
. 5 ] He was also an accomplished tennis player and won the junior singles championship in the Negro tennis tournament on the Pacific Coast.
. 6 Jackie's brother Mack was a skilful athlete and an outstanding sprinter. At the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin he won a silver medal 200 meters behind Jesse Owens.
. 7 In 1942 Jackie Robinson was drafted into the army. He was assigned to a separate Army Cavalry unit at Fort Riley, Kansas.
. 8 During his time in the army, Robinson made friends with boxing champion Joe Louis when the heavyweight squad, who was stationed at Fort Riley at the time, used his celebrity against the late entry of black soldiers into an Office Candidate School (OCS) to protest. As a result, Robinson was put into service in 1943 as a second lieutenant.
. 9 Following an incident in which he refused to settle on an unauthorized bus, the military police arrested Robinson at the request of a duty officer, who later demanded that Robinson be tried in court. At the time of the trial, Robinson was banned from deploying abroad on the fronts of World War II. He did not see any fight during the war.
10th Robinson was acquitted and then transferred to Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky, where he worked as an Army Athletics Coach until his honorable release in 1944. While at the camp, Robinson was encouraged to test the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro National League.
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12th Robinson married Rachel Islum, whom he had met at UCLA in 1941 during his last year, in 1946. They had their first son, Jackie Robinson Jr, in November. The Robinsons had two other children: one daughter Sharon and one other son David.
. 13 Robinson played minor league baseball for the Montreal Royals in 1946 until he was called to the Major League in 1947 for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the Major League.
fourteenth He made his debut in Major League Baseball on April 15, 1947 at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, New York. He became the first African-American baseball player in Major League history.
15th He also won the Rookie of the Year in 1947 with an average of .297, 175 hits, 12 homers and 48 runs that were beaten in.
sixteenth Jackie Robinson had a close friendship with Larry Doby of the Cleveland Indians, the first African-American baseball player in the American League. The two men broke through the color barrier in baseball the same year and talked to each other over the phone to share their experiences of racism during the season.
17th Dodger's teammate Pee Wee Reese defended Robinson in his rookie season against violent and ugly racial bites. Reese put his arm around him famously and said, "You can hate a man for many reasons. The color is not one of them, "in response to fans calling Robinson racially infamous.
18th On August 29, 1948, Robinson beat home with a 12-7 win over the St. Louis Cardinals Run, a triple, a double, and a single in the same game cycle.
19 Robinson was the National League Batting and Stolen Bases champion with a strike average of .342 and 37 stolen bases in 1949.
20. He was also six times All-Star in the years 1949 to 1954.
21st In 1949, Robinson was called before the Committee for Un-American Activities (HUAC) of the US House of Representatives. He was summoned for commentary by prominent African American actor Paul Robson, initially reluctant to testify, but eventually forced to do so because he feared it would hurt his baseball career.  22. Roberts won the National League's Most Valuable Player Award in 1949 after first appearing in the MLB All-Star Game. Robinson later added his team to the World Series, but would lose to the New York Yankees.
23rd Jackie Robinson played himself in The Jackie Robinson Story a biography from 1950, published about his life. Academy Award-nominated actress Ruby Dee played Robinson's wife Rachel "Rae" Isum Robinson [24 ]] In the offseason, Robinson went on a vaudeville tour of the South where he would answer questions about his life. He actually made more money on these tours than his contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
25th Robinson played in six World Series, but only won in 1955 in a series with seven games against the New York Yankees. Robinson did not play in 49 games this season and missed game 7. Don Hoak played the third base at Robinson's place.
26th At age 37, Robinson retired in 1956 for the visible effects of diabetes from Major League Baseball and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Unbeknownst to the Brooklyn Dodgers, Robinson took a position at American coffee firm Chock Full O 'Nuts and agreed to quit baseball.
27th From 1957 to 1964, Jackie Robinson was Vice President of Personnel at Chock Full O'Nuts Coffee. He was the first African American vice president of a large American corporation.
28th Robinson was politically independent but had very conservative views on the Vietnam War. He also backed Richard Nixon in the presidential election of 1960 against John F. Kennedy, though Robinson admired Kennedy's stance on civil rights after his election. Later he was upset with the Republicans because he did not support the 1964 Civil Rights Act and soon became a Democrat.
29th In 1962, Jackie Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of election. He was the first African American to be inducted into the Cooperstown Hall of Fame and Museum.
30th Jackie Robinson was always considered a great figure in the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said Robinson was "a legend and a symbol of his time," challenging "the dark skies of intolerance and frustration."
31st In 1964, Robinson, along with businessman Dunbar McLaurin, founded Freedom National Bank, a black bank in Harlem, New York. Robinson was the first chairman of the commercial bank. His wife later became chairman until the bank closed in 1990.
32nd Robinson was also the first African-American TV sports analyst. He broadcast in 1965 for ABC's Major League Baseball Game of the week. In 1972, Robinson worked as a part-time commentator for the Montreal Expos.
33rd On June 4, 1972, the Dodgers retired the uniform number 42 from Jackie Robinson as well as the number 32 from Sandy Koufax and the number 39 from Roy Campanella.
34th Robinson died of a heart attack on October 24, 1972 in Stamford, Connecticut, aged 53.
35th In 1973, Robinson's widow, Rachel, founded the Jackie Robinson Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that grants minority scholarships to colleges. The foundation also preserves the legacy of Jackie Robinson as a baseball player and citizen pioneer.
36th The Brooklyn, New York, where Jackie Robinson lived while playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers, was declared a National Historical Landmark in 1976.
37th On March 1, 1981, the American astronomer scolding John "Bobby" Bus discovered an asteroid at the Siding Spring Observatory in New South Wales, Australia. The bus named the asteroid "4319 Jackier Obinson" after his favorite baseball player.
38th President Ronald Reagan posthumously awarded Jackie Robinson the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest honor a civilian has received for his contributions to world peace, cultural or other significant public or private effort – on March 26, 1984.
. 39 You will not see baseball players number 42: In 1997, Robinson's number was withdrawn throughout Major League Baseball. This was the first and only time that a jersey number was withdrawn in an entire professional sports league.
40th In 1999, Robinson, along with Cal Ripken Jr., Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays, and Ty Cobb, joined the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. The fans chose the final selection from a list of the 100 largest major league baseball players of the past century.
41st On April 15, 2004, Jackie became Robinson Day, and all uniformed Major League Baseball players had to wear the number 42 on their jerseys to honor Robin's memory and heritage of the sport.
42nd More than 20 years after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, President George W. Bush also posthumously awarded Jackie Robinson the Gold Medal of Congress – the highest honor the legislature can bestow upon a civilian, with two-thirds of it to carry members in the House and in the Senate – for his contributions to American history. He became the second baseball player to receive this award after Pittsburgh Pirates' right-fielder Roberto Clemente in 1973.
An earlier version of this article appeared in 2013.