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Jackie Robinson forever changed the face of American history on Opening Day 1947 as he became one of the most influential athletes to break the color barrier in professional sports and in several ways the color barrier in America Born into a poor black family in the South Robinson had to deal with a racist nation growing up Robinson also dealt with this racism throughout his Hall of Fame career Changed perhaps by all the hardships that he had faced during his childhood and baseball career Jackie became an advocate for racial indifference After his career had ended Robinson used his popularity and fame to become involved in government business deals and with civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X He strived to help under privilege black children and help them stay off the streets and plan for success in their future I never had it made but I had to try quoted Robinson Robinson 16 Jack Jackie Roosevelt Robinson was born January 31 1919 to Jerry and Mallie Robinson Jerry was a very poor sharecropper and brought in enough money to feed his five children Mallie worked as a house keeper to a very wealthy plantation owner Jerry tired of being poor started to have an affair with the daughter of a very wealthy black family Mallie upset with her husband took her kids and along with several other families gathered their belongings and moved to Pasadena California This is where Jackie would group up and turn to athletics to solve his academic and home problems A natural athlete Robinson played football basketball baseball and track and field at Pasadena Community College He then went on to UCLA University of California Los Taylor 2 Angeles where he again excelled in football basketball baseball and track After college he was drafted in the Army and served in World War II Upon his return he played professional
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