Robinson in 2005
|Born||Rachel Annetta Isum
July 19, 1922
Los Angeles, California,
|Spouse(s)||Jackie Robinson (m. 1946–1972; his death)|
Rachel Robinson (born Rachel Annetta Isum; July 19, 1922) is a former registered nurse and the widow of baseball player Jackie Robinson. She was born in Los Angeles and attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where she met Robinson in 1941 prior to his leaving UCLA when his baseball eligibility ran out. She graduated from UCLA June 1, 1945, with a bachelor's degree in nursing. Rachel and Robinson married on February 10, 1946, the year before he broke into the big leagues. Their son Jackie Robinson, Jr. (1946-1971) was born in November 1946. The Robinsons would later have a daughter, Sharon, born 1950, and another son, David, born 1952.
After Jackie Robinson's retirement from baseball following the 1956 season, Rachel Robinson further pursued her nursing career, obtaining a master's degree in psychiatric nursing from New York University,. She worked as a researcher and clinician at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Department of Social and Community Psychiatry, a position she held for five years. She then became an Assistant Professor at Yale School of Nursing and later the Director of Nursing at the Connecticut Mental Health Center.
In 1972, she incorporated the Jackie Robinson Development Corporation, a real estate development company specializing in low- to moderate-income housing, and served as president for ten years. In 1973, she founded the Jackie Robinson Foundation, a not-for-profit organization providing educational and leadership opportunities for minority students. The Foundation has provided support for over 1,000 minority students and has maintained a 97% graduation rate among its scholars.
In 2009, she received the UCLA Medal from Chancellor Gene Block for her lifetime achievements. The UCLA Medal is the university’s highest honor and was created to "honor those individuals who have made extraordinary and distinguished contributions to their professions, to higher education, to our society, and to the people of UCLA."
In addition to earning twelve honorary doctorates, Robinson was awarded the Candace Award for Distinguished Service from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Equitable Life Black Achiever's Award and the Associated Black Charities Black History Makers Award.
- "Rachel Robinson, Visionary Videos, NVLP, African American History". National Visionary Leadership Project. Library of Congress American Folklife Center. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
- Lee, Cynthia (May 5, 2009). "Rachel Robinson to receive UCLA's highest honor". UCLA Today.
- Rachel Robinson & Lee Daniels (1996). Jackie Robinson:. Abrams. p. 240. ISBN 0810937921.
- Barry M. Bloom (April 15, 2007). "Commissioner honors Rachel Robinson". MLB. Retrieved April 15, 2007.
- "Rachel Robinson Encounters a Slur". The New York Times. May 15, 1997.
- Jackie Robinson Foundation Website
- "Timeline of events in the lives of Rachel and Jackie Robinson"
- "Advice from the Top: Robinson's widow offers lessons", USA Today Q&A, April 16, 2007
- Rachel Robinson's oral history video excerpts at the National Visionary Leadership Project
- Peter Dreier, "Honoring Rachel Robinson, Baseball Pioneer and Civil Rights Activist". The Huffington Post, July 20, 2014.