Rachel Robinson

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Rachel Robinson
Rachel Robinson 1997.jpg
Robinson in 1997
Rachel Isum[1]

(1922-07-19) July 19, 1922 (age 99)[1]
EducationManual Arts High School
Alma materUniversity of California, Los Angeles (BS)
New York University (MS)
OccupationNurse, professor
(m. 1946; died 1972)
AwardsCommissioner's Historic Achievement Award (2007)
Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award (2017)
Rachel Robinson accepting the Congressional Gold Medal for her husband from President George W. Bush, 2005.

Rachel Robinson (née Isum; born July 19, 1922) is an American former professor and registered nurse, as well as the widow of professional baseball player Jackie Robinson.

Life and work[edit]

She was born in New York City 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,[1] 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.[1] 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.[2] She then became an Assistant Professor at Yale School of Nursing and later the Director of Nursing at the Connecticut Mental Health Center.[2][3]

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.[2]

In 1996, she coauthored Jackie Robinson: An Intimate Portrait with Lee Daniels, published by Abrams Publishing Company.[2][4]

In 2007, she was awarded the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award by Commissioner Bud Selig.[5]

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."[3]

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.[2]

Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Reliquary's Shrine of the Eternals in 2014.[6]

In 2017, Rachel Robinson received the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame. With this award, Rachel and Jackie Robinson became the first married couple to reside alongside each other in Major league Baseball's Hall of Fame. She considered the award to be a huge honor.

She currently resides on a 60-acre (24-hectare) farm in Salem, Connecticut.[7]

Robinson was portrayed by Ruby Dee in the 1950 film The Jackie Robinson Story and by Nicole Beharie in the 2013 film 42.

Jackie Robinson Foundation[edit]

The Jackie Robinson Foundation is a national, 501 non-profit organization, which gives scholarships to minority youths for higher education, as well as preserving the legacy of Baseball Hall of Fame member, Jackie Robinson. It was founded in 1973 by Rachel Robinson. It's located in New York, New York, United States.

Its motto is "JRF has provided college and graduate school scholarships as well as leadership development opportunities for highly motivated students of color with limited financial resources."

Its revenue is US$8.79 million. Its expenses are US$8.257 million.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Rachel Robinson". Jackie Robinson Foundation. Retrieved 24 September 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Rachel Robinson, Visionary Videos, NVLP, African American History". National Visionary Leadership Project. Library of Congress American Folklife Center. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Lee, Cynthia (May 5, 2009). "Rachel Robinson to receive UCLA's highest honor". UCLA Today. Archived from the original on May 13, 2009.
  4. ^ Rachel Robinson & Lee Daniels (1996). Jackie Robinson. Abrams. p. 240. ISBN 0810937921.
  5. ^ Barry M. Bloom (April 15, 2007). "Commissioner honors Rachel Robinson". MLB. Retrieved April 15, 2007.
  6. ^ "Shrine of the Eternals – Inductees". Baseball Reliquary. Retrieved 2019-08-14.
  7. ^ "Rachel Robinson Encounters a Slur". The New York Times. May 15, 1997.

External links[edit]