I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me - all I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”
When Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson was born in 1919 in Cairo, Ga., nobody could have predicted that he would grow up to represent the height of athletic achievement—and also knock down racial barriers in many aspects of society, from sports to politics to business.
One of five children raised in relative poverty by a single mother, Robinson was destined to transcend his circumstances. Through the strength of his character, he recorded many “firsts” that had tremendous impact on the United States during the civil rights era.
Robinson attended UCLA, where he became the first person to letter in four sports during the same year. He served in the U.S. Army before beginning his professional baseball career, which spanned from 1947 to 1957. In baseball, despite unmitigated racial discrimination from management, teammates and fans, Robinson possessed the courage to defy retaliation and end 80 years of baseball segregation. Robinson crossed the color line and made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 as the first African-American player in Major League Baseball.
He was an outstanding base runner, stealing home 19 times in his career—more than any ball player since World War I. As a disciplined hitter, a versatile fielder and an outstanding defensive player, Robinson won Rookie of the Year in 1947 and Most Valuable Player in 1949 for the National League. He was the first African-American inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and became a member of the All-Century Team. He received a championship ring when he led the Dodgers to a 1955 World Series victory over the New York Yankees. Major League Baseball retired Robinson's number 42—never to be worn by another ball player—in recognition of his accomplishments on and off the field.
Robinson's historic achievements in baseball were but one aspect of his life and legacy. He was a champion of civil and human rights and a staunch supporter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Brith. A significant fundraiser for the NAACP, he was a major figure in national politics, influencing leaders such as Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, and Nelson Rockefeller. He became the first black writer to have a nationally syndicated column for a white-owned publication. In his later career, he founded the Jackie Robinson Construction Corporation to improve living conditions of black Americans in metropolitan areas. In the 1960s, he helped establish the Freedom National Bank, an African-American-owned financial institution based in Harlem, New York. And he was the first black vice president of a major American corporation, working for 10 years for Chock Full O' Nuts.
After his death in 1972, Robinson became one of only two baseball players to be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, and President Ronald Reagan also awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Looking back, we may always envision Jackie Robinson in his uniform on the baseball field. But in addition to being a phenomenal athlete, Robinson was a pioneer, a hero, and a representative of many values that continue to inspire us today. He stands as a true example of innovation and foresight, based in the strength of character to achieve any goal you can imagine.
Character. Pass It On!
This billboard about character features Jackie Robinson (1919-1972); first black Major League Baseball player.
You are awsome
Makayla 3 months ago from Somewhere
i love jackie robinson he was the best baseball player.
nackie jones 5 months ago from east hampton
I haven't seen the billboard ad for Jackie Robinson for a very long time.
Ohodgee Nieves 5 months ago from Hartford,CT
T 10 months ago from Wat
Wow! Very inspiring story thanks for this information....will pass it on!
Rex Ekure 10 months ago from Lagos, Nigeria
I like Jackie Robinson as a friend
shy'nesty 11 months ago from iej
Wonderful to teach from this poster for learning.
Sharon Thomas 11 months ago from Gainesville, FL 32606
I was 10 years old when Jackie Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. We lived close enough to Cooperstown, and I was an avid baseball fan, so my Dad took me. It was 50 years ago and I still remember what happened. There weren't a lot of media then, and the inductees just mingled with the crowd. Jackie was standing alone and I, a small girl, went up to him and asked for his autograph. He gladly signed my program, and we spoke for a minute. A TRULY decent humble man. Then I saw Bob Fellar, asked him for an autograph, and he said he would not give it to a GIRL. I thought my Dad would fall over, and Jackie looked at him stunned. Hero is NOT just what you do on the ball field, but the way you act with people. Jackie Robinson deserved the accolades he received, because he was a true every day hero, and he remains on a pedestal for me to this day.
wow over 1 year ago from anonymous
You guys rock!
Fab over 1 year ago from Mn
I read that Jackie was told that what was needed was someone to have the courage to not fight back. His courage changed history.
Kellina Martin over 2 years ago from Newport Beach, Ca
sam over 2 years ago from dchs
i love you guys youre cooooooollll!
nathan almost 3 years ago from fairbanks indiana
Jackie Robinson's story never gets old and bears a new look ---- that's why I use his life story as an example to my students of overcoming adversity. What a man!
Anne about 3 years ago from Ashland, WI
All I can do is cry and say thank you Jackie!
Jerry E. over 3 years ago from Philadelphia, Pa
Wow, Jackie Robinson is the most amazing man ever. He has great determination.
cheyanne R. almost 4 years ago from asheboro
We had the honor to meet his daughter, Sharon Robinson at the New York Yankee game, for my son's Make A Wish trip. She was so awesome and very down to earth. She signed a book that she wrote about her family. It was very touching to know more about Mr. Robinson's life and how it was back then to now. I saw her talking to the kids and sitting with the parents and that really impressed us. Thanks for his story and he is an inspiration to us all.
Sylvia W almost 4 years ago from Tyler,Texas
Carl S. about 4 years ago from Lexinton
My wife did Jackie Robinson's blood work at Belview Hospital in NY City many moons ago! Rocky Colovito, the great Cleavland Indians star player, grew up with me in the Bronx. Both of these guys were the best there could be in baseball!
Marvin K. over 4 years ago from Plainview, NY
Wow! He was probably the best baseball player.
Arthur over 4 years ago from Adrian, Michigan
Great one. Learn to respect yourself first then the world will follow.
Kirthishri M. V. over 4 years ago from Bangalore, India
Jackie Robinson was a truly noble man.
He refused to allow fools to bring him down, and he silenced them by proving himself, both on and off the ball field.
Today's Major League players could learn a thing or two from him.
Scott C. almost 5 years ago from New Castle, Indiana
I WAS BORN IN 1947. THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS WHICH COULD BE SAID ABOUT THIS TRAILBLAZING AMERICAN WHO HAPPENED TO BE AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN. IN MY HUMBLE OPINION I'M VERY PROUD OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL FOR GIVING AN HONOR TO MR. ROBINSON WHICH NO OTHER MAJOR LEAGUER HAS BEEN HONORED WITH. TO RETIRE HIS NUMBER FROM 'THE GAME' AND NOT ALLOW ANY OTHER PLAYER TO EVER WEAR IT AS THEIR NUMBER SPEAKS FOR ITSELF. IN LIGHT OF THIS ACTION, I CAN NOW FORGIVE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL FOR DENYING AFRICAN-AMERICANS THE OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY IN THE MAJOR LEAGUES PRIOR TO 1947 AND FOR CAUSING THE AFRICAN AMERICAN LEAGUE TO FOLD AFTER THE BETTER PLAYERS LEFT TO PLAY IN THE MAJOR LEAGUE.
ROBERT D. almost 5 years ago from LAS VEGAS
Success requires the strength of character so you should believe in yourself and keep your head up and be yourself and not who people want you to be.
Jaida A. almost 6 years ago from Orlando, Florida
I was 10 years old when Jackie Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. We lived close enough to Cooperstown, and I was an avid baseball fan, so my Dad took me. It was 50+ years ago and I still remember what happened. There weren't a lot of media then, and the inductees just mingled with the crowd. Jackie was standing alone and I, a small girl, went up to him and asked for his autograph. He gladly signed my program, and we spoke for a minute. A TRULY decent humble man. Then I saw Bob Fellar, asked him for an autograph, and he said he would not give it to a GIRL. I thought my Dad would fall over, and Jackie looked at him stunned. Hero is NOT just what you do on the ball field, but the way you act with people. Jackie Robinson deserved the accolades he received, because he was a true every day hero, and he remains on a pedestal for me to this day.
Patti P. about 5 years ago from Kent, Ohio
Jakie Robinson has changed how people look at the game today. Robinson took all of the criticism and the racism and put it all behind him. He was just proving to everyone that a single person regardless of color can play as good or even better then the whites. If it wasn't for Jakie you would never heard of Alex Rodruguiez, David Ortiz, Albert Pujols etc. Jakie Robinson is a hero in everyone eyes and will always be an inspiration.
about 5 years ago from
The billboards and messages are fantastic! This was the first one I saw on the road coming home from Boston. Then saw the Preparation one. Fantastic idea especially for our young people to see and hopefully "pass it on"!!
Helen B. about 5 years ago from Drexel Hill, PA
Jackie Robinson has inspired many people and baseball players around the world, that why Jackie Robinson is one of my favorite player all times.
Hernaldo M. about 5 years ago from Jefferson City, MO
Every time I have driven by this billboard along the I-10, it renews my faith in the greatness of this nation to overcome obstacles through the leadership of exceptional individuals. Truly inspirational!
Peter H. over 5 years ago from Highland, CA
Well when I first saw this billboard in my city I was really impressed. I saw the website which led me to all these wonderful things. Keep it up FBL!
Kimberly V. over 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA
Well played, so to speak.
Jackie Robinson was a great example of all types of virtues: strength, persistence, character, leading by example, and dedication.
Tony Dungy is another man in sports who surely has borrowed a page from Jackie.
Great work, FBL!
Scott C. over 5 years ago from New Castle, Indiana
I think this is such a great billboard
Jane D. over 5 years ago from South Carolina
I SAW JACKIE ROBINSON PLAY WHEN I WAS A KID. LAST WEEK, COMING HOME THROUGH THE PHILLY AIRPORT, I SAW THE DISPLAY. I ACTUALLY STOPPED TO ADMIRE THE POSTER, IT BROUGHT BACK THE MEMORIES OF JACKIE. THANKS.
FRED S. over 5 years ago from HAMILTON, NJ
Jackie Robinson is my favorite. I absolutely love this billboard. Knowing that you used him to represent character makes me totally believe in your organization. Well done!!
Karli I. over 5 years ago from Pennsylvania
This billboard caught my eye and I really am impressed by Mr. Robinson! Keep it up FBL!! Very inspirational!
Sofia B. over 5 years ago from Cincinnati, OH
This is very inspirational. I look at this billboard everyday to help me remember who I am. Thank you.
Austin N. over 5 years ago from Mcminnville, OR
That was beautiful. I'm in tears right now.
Stan S. over 5 years ago from Salt Lake City, Utah
This is very inspirational. Thank you so much. I love you.
Austin N. over 5 years ago from McMinnville, Oregon
Changed my life forever.
Gabriel B. over 5 years ago from McMinnville, OR
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."
SpringHawk T. over 5 years ago from Los Angeles
I look forward to seeing the FBL billboards so that I can share them with my Adult Day Health Care participants. Here's to you for adding inspiration and joy to my daily commute!
Kathy H. almost 6 years ago from Bakersfield, California
This shows what a person can accomplish in spite of all odds. What an incredible and inspirational story.
Sandra M. almost 6 years ago from
Every time I approach the SF Bay Bridge I am moved and inspired by your image of Jackie Robinson...
Coleman almost 6 years ago from San Francisco
Wow!! All of these are incredible. I want this one as my computer background!
Steve S. almost 6 years ago from Hackettstown, New Jersey USA
A true American hero who fought prejudice with class and a head held high. I love that you added Jackie to the list!
Steve S. almost 6 years ago from Omaha, NE
Emma S. almost 6 years ago from Utah
What an amazing story... he was the first African-American to play major league baseball and I think he would be proud of how far our country has come today. His story is inspirational...
V about 6 years ago from Salt Lake City, Utah