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Jackie Robinson, born on January 31, 1919, made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, becoming the first African American to break through that racial barrier. What better time to celebrate him than on the 100th anniversary of his birth? Robinson grew up in California and excelled at baseball, football, basketball and track while attending UCLA. He joined the U.S. Army in 1942, and faced court-martial in 1944 by refusing to sit at the back of a military bus. The charges were dismissed and Robinson received an honorable discharge that same year. After playing in the Negro American League, he donned the #42 Dodgers uniform and made history. Facing cruel and dangerous racism, he never lost his temper, saying once, “The whole thing was bigger than me.” That sense of responsibility was evident in the way he lived his life; husband, father, civil rights activist marching with Martin Luther King, and baseball legend. His is the only jersey number ever retired from all of MLB. Jackie Robinson died in 1972 at the age of 53, but the legacy of #42 lives on. Learn more from the links below: