Jackie’s widow is MLB’s first lady


Rachel Robinson, widow of baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson, celebrates her 100th birthday on Tuesday.

Former teacher, nurse, civil rights leader and founder of the Jackie Robinson Foundation was born Rachel Isum in Pasadena, California in 1922.

The Robinsons met in 1940 on the UCLA campus where Rachel graduated from nursing in 1945. The two married in 1946 in Los Angeles and were married until the death of the icon of the baseball in 1972.

Rachel had three children, Jackie Jr., Sharon and David, before obtaining his master’s degree in psychiatric nursing from NYU in May 1961.

Rachel worked as a nurse in the Bronx and became head of psychiatric nursing at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Rachel made a name for herself as a civil rights activist and served as an assistant professor at Yale University.

Rachel has accepted several posthumous honors on Jackie’s behalf, while also receiving numerous accolades for her own work. She also launched a traveling exhibition on Jackie Robinson in several cities in 1987.

Rachel received the Commissioner of the MLB Historic Achievement Award in 2007. She is the first woman and the first non-player to receive this award.

Contact Analis Bailey at [email protected] or on Twitter @analisbailey.

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