Mack Robinson (athlete)
|Olympic medal record|
|Competitor for the United States|
|1936 Berlin||200 m|
Matthew MacKenzie "Mack" Robinson (July 18, 1914 – March 12, 2000) was an American athlete who won a silver medal in the 1936 Olympics. He was the older brother of Baseball Hall of Fame member Jackie Robinson.
Mack was born in Cairo, Georgia, in 1914. He and his siblings were left fatherless at an early age, leaving their mother, Mallie Robinson, as the sole support of the children. She performed in a variety of manual labour tasks, and moved with her children to Pasadena, California, while the children were still young. Mack remained in town for school, and set national junior college records in the 100 meter, 200 meter, and long jump at Pasadena City College.
He placed second in the Western Regional Olympic Tryouts in 1936, earning himself a place on the United States Olympic team. He went on to win the silver medal in the men's 200 metres at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, finishing just 0.4 seconds behind Jesse Owens.
Mack Robinson attended the University of Oregon, graduating in 1941. At the University of Oregon he won numerous titles in NCAA, AAU and Pacific Coast Conference track meets. He has been honored as being one of the most distinguished graduates of the University of Oregon and is a member of the University of Oregon Hall of Fame and the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame
For a time in the early 1970s, Mack was a park director of Lemon Grove Park, a park in the East Hollywood part of the City of Los Angeles.
Later in life, he was known for leading the fight against street crime in his home town of Pasadena. The Pasadena Robinson Memorial, dedicated to both Matthew and Jackie, was dedicated in 1997. The memorial statue of Jackie Robinson by sculptor Richard H. Ellis at UCLA Bruins baseball team's home Jackie Robinson Stadium, was installed by the efforts of Jackie's brother Mack.
Several locations are named in honor of Matthew Robinson. In addition to the Pasadena Robinson Memorial, the stadium of Pasadena City College was dedicated to him in 2000. That same year, the United States Postal Service approved naming the new post office in Pasadena the Matthew 'Mack' Robinson Post Office Building.
Robinson died of complications from diabetes, kidney failure, and pneumonia in Pasadena, on March 12, 2000 at a hospital in Pasadena, California, at the age of 85. He is interred at Mountain View Cemetery and Mausoleum, Altadena, California.
- Robert Weintraub, Two Lives After Losing to Jesse Owens, New York Times, July 20, 2012
- "Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium". UCLA Athletics. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "UCLA history project: Robinson statue". UCLA.edu. Retrieved May 6, 2009.
- Matthew Robinson entry at infoplease.com
- Congressman Adam Schiff speech in honor of Matthew Robinson
- article "Jackie Robinson Remembered" at finarticles.com
- Rampersad, Arnold. Jackie Robinson, a Biography. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997.