Character
“I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me - all I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”

—Jackie Robinson


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.

Pass It On®

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Your Comments
random from disney land APRIL 5, 2022
one of the best NBA players

Mastershrubs MARCH 30, 2022
Best MLB player of all time

Travis from boyertown middle school east MARCH 8, 2021
I think that Mr. Robinson was an inspirational man for millions of people.

Carolyn from Shell Beach, CA JANUARY 1, 2021
Civil Rights Hero and Pioneer. One of the best athletes ever in this country...five sports!!! We must keep his legend alive & continue to tell hi-story!!! #JR42 #legacy #legend

gp from Pasco DECEMBER 6, 2020
I think that Mr. Robinson was an inspirational man for millions of people.

Kendra from Utah NOVEMBER 16, 2020
He was so awsome i love it

Aubrey NOVEMBER 10, 2020
I love this

Draco Lucius Malfoy from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry SEPTEMBER 10, 2020
He was cool

bob from river falls OCTOBER 3, 2019
he loved to play baseball

Anonymous MARCH 14, 2018
he is not afraid to prove himself

random from somewhere MARCH 7, 2017
he is my role modle

persia from school MARCH 7, 2017
cool

random from somewhere MARCH 7, 2017
jackie is awesome

sam from home JANUARY 23, 2017
i love him

jake OCTOBER 13, 2016
cool

emma from home MAY 5, 2016
im doing homework on him i love him love love him him

dealvion from sam houston high APRIL 26, 2016
he is the best baseball player in african american history

megan from school APRIL 26, 2016
Jackie Robinson has always been my hero.

Ian from secret MARCH 17, 2016
Awesome

jackie from school MARCH 10, 2016
what character trait best describes jackie robinson

Random thinker from Secret Location  FEBRUARY 24, 2016
Is he the person who started and motivated the civil right movement.

jamal from jacox FEBRUARY 22, 2016
good man

jamal from school FEBRUARY 22, 2016
he was a good man

jamal from jacox elementary schoo FEBRUARY 22, 2016
Jackie robinson was a good man

Anonymous FEBRUARY 11, 2016
awsome

Joline from Gwendolyn Brooks Elemantry FEBRUARY 2, 2016
Jackie was a great man.For what he has done for this country is unforgetable

Emma from Untied States FEBRUARY 2, 2016
cool

bryce JANUARY 26, 2016
awsome

Anonymous DECEMBER 17, 2015
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.

Anonymous DECEMBER 17, 2015
i love jackie robinson he was the best baseball player.

Anonymous DECEMBER 17, 2015
Well, Jackie, you may be gone physically, but you are still here in spirit and in the legacy you left behind.. :) Character... Pass It On...

Anonymous OCTOBER 2, 2015
Jackie had some great courage and he helped all african americans do what they love Baseball

NULL from NULL JULY 12, 2015
Well, Jackie, you may be gone physically, but you are still here in spirit and in the legacy you left behind.. :) Character... Pass It On...

NULL from NULL NOVEMBER 11, 2014
Well written article. Concise, pithy, inspiring. Thank you.

Makayla from Somewhere APRIL 17, 2014
You are awsome

nackie jones from east hampton MARCH 4, 2014
i love jackie robinson he was the best baseball player.

Ohodgee Nieves from Hartford,CT FEBRUARY 15, 2014
I haven't seen the billboard ad for Jackie Robinson for a very long time.

T from Wat OCTOBER 1, 2013
Cool

Rex Ekure from Lagos, Nigeria SEPTEMBER 16, 2013
Wow! Very inspiring story thanks for this information....will pass it on!

shy'nesty from iej SEPTEMBER 5, 2013
I like Jackie Robinson as a friend

Sharon Thomas from Gainesville, FL 32606 AUGUST 16, 2013
Wonderful to teach from this poster for learning.

wow from anonymous MARCH 6, 2013
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.

Fab from Mn NOVEMBER 2, 2012
You guys rock!

Kellina Martin from Newport Beach, Ca APRIL 18, 2012
I read that Jackie was told that what was needed was someone to have the courage to not fight back. His courage changed history.

sam from dchs MARCH 22, 2012
wow!

nathan from fairbanks indiana AUGUST 30, 2011
i love you guys youre cooooooollll!

Anne from Ashland, WI JUNE 23, 2011
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!

Jerry E. from Philadelphia, Pa JANUARY 4, 2011
All I can do is cry and say thank you Jackie!

cheyanne R. from asheboro OCTOBER 4, 2010
Wow, Jackie Robinson is the most amazing man ever. He has great determination.

Sylvia W from Tyler,Texas AUGUST 25, 2010
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.

Carl S. from Lexinton MAY 21, 2010
Cool.

Marvin K. from Plainview, NY NOVEMBER 18, 2009
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!

Arthur from Adrian, Michigan NOVEMBER 13, 2009
Wow! He was probably the best baseball player.

Kirthishri M. V. from Bangalore, India NOVEMBER 3, 2009
Great one. Learn to respect yourself first then the world will follow.

Scott C. from New Castle, Indiana AUGUST 29, 2009
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.

ROBERT D. from LAS VEGAS JULY 23, 2009
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.

Jaida A. from Orlando, Florida JULY 23, 2009
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.

Patti P. from Kent, Ohio JUNE 8, 2009
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.

Anonymous MAY 18, 2009
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.

Helen B. from Drexel Hill, PA MAY 11, 2009
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"!!

Hernaldo M. from Jefferson City, MO MAY 11, 2009
Jackie Robinson has inspired many people and baseball players around the world, that why Jackie Robinson is one of my favorite player all times.

Peter H. from Highland, CA MARCH 9, 2009
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!

Kimberly V. from Los Angeles, CA FEBRUARY 17, 2009
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!

Scott C. from New Castle, Indiana FEBRUARY 9, 2009
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!

Jane D. from South Carolina JANUARY 3, 2009
I think this is such a great billboard

FRED S. from HAMILTON, NJ DECEMBER 24, 2008
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.

Karli I. from Pennsylvania DECEMBER 18, 2008
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!!

Sofia B. from Cincinnati, OH DECEMBER 13, 2008
This billboard caught my eye and I really am impressed by Mr. Robinson! Keep it up FBL!! Very inspirational!

Austin N. from Mcminnville, OR DECEMBER 4, 2008
This is very inspirational. I look at this billboard everyday to help me remember who I am. Thank you.

Stan S. from Salt Lake City, Utah DECEMBER 3, 2008
That was beautiful. I'm in tears right now.

Austin N. from McMinnville, Oregon DECEMBER 3, 2008
This is very inspirational. Thank you so much. I love you.

Gabriel B. from McMinnville, OR NOVEMBER 18, 2008
Changed my life forever.

SpringHawk T. from Los Angeles NOVEMBER 14, 2008
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." Jackie Robinson

Kathy H. from Bakersfield, California SEPTEMBER 15, 2008
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!

Sandra M. SEPTEMBER 12, 2008
This shows what a person can accomplish in spite of all odds. What an incredible and inspirational story.

Coleman from San Francisco SEPTEMBER 2, 2008
Every time I approach the SF Bay Bridge I am moved and inspired by your image of Jackie Robinson... Cheers!

Steve S. from Hackettstown, New Jersey USA AUGUST 30, 2008
Wow!! All of these are incredible. I want this one as my computer background!

Steve S. from Omaha, NE AUGUST 15, 2008
A true American hero who fought prejudice with class and a head held high. I love that you added Jackie to the list!

Emma S. from Utah AUGUST 2, 2008
WOW!

V from Salt Lake City, Utah JUNE 4, 2008
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...

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