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Gerald Early

Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born in 1919 in Cairo, Georgia, and grew up in Pasadena, California. He was a star athlete in high school and junior college before becoming an athletic legend at the University of California at Los Angeles from 1939 to 1941, playing football, baseball, basketball, and competing in track and field. He joined the army in 1942 and was discharged as a lieutenant in 1945 after breaking a white bus driver's jaw in a disagreement about moving to the back of the bus.

Robinson was selected by Branch Rickey, general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, to become the first African American to play Major League baseball in the twentieth century. Entering the big leagues in 1947 Robinson had to abide by an agreement he made with Rickey not to be provoked to retaliation by taunts from white players and fans Robinson endured racial epithets ...