Jackie Robinson was born on Jan. 31, 1919. In 1937, he enrolled in Pasadena Junior College. In 1940, he won the NCAA broad jump title, while attending the University of California. In 1942, Robinson was drafted into the Army. He was honourably discharged in 1944, following an ankle injury. In 1945, he started his pioneering baseball career, playing for the Kansas City Monarchs. Later that year he was recruited to play minor league ball for the Montreal Royals.
In 1946, he married Rachel Isum. In 1947, he broke the color barrier in major league baseball by playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He won Rookie of the Year that season and experienced widespread racial abuse. The same year, Robinson appeared on the cover of Time magazine. In 1949, he won the National League Most Valuable Player award. He also appeared in the All-Star Game.
In 1955, Robinson won the World Series with the Dodgers, defeating the Yankees. In 1956, he came to the New York Giants via trade, but never played a single game for them, instead deciding to go into retirement at the age of 37. During the 1950's and 1960's, he voiced his support for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. In 1962, Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. After a career that opened the door to major league baseball for men of color, Jackie Robinson died of a heart attack on Oct. 24, 1972, in Stamford Connecticut. He was 53 years old.