Everyone knows Jackie Robinson as the first black man to play in Major League baseball which in and of itself is a pretty remarkable achievement. However, Jackie Robinson had a number of other notable achievements that are less well known.
During the Second World War, Jackie Robinson was in the first desegregated class in officer training school. He received the rank of second Lieutenant. While in the army one day he was on a bus sitting next to the wife of a friend. The woman looked white, and the driver yelled at Jackie and told him to sit at the back of the bus. Jackie refused, the MPs were called, and he found himself facing court martial, though he was acquitted.
After baseball, he became the first black American to be the VP of a major company (Chock-full of Nuts Coffee). He helped found an African-American run bank. He started a company that built housing for low income people. He was active in the NAACP, and was part of the March on Washington. He was also the first black sports analyst on network television.
He used his last public appearance before his death, the throwing out of the first pitch at a baseball game, to call out Major League Baseball for not having any black managers.
It’s a shame that his many achievements are not better known.