Alert
Close

We’re Giving Away $50,000! Enter Now. See Official Rules

In '42,' a Baseball Hero Battles Bigotry

Jackie Robinson's widow reflects on his legacy

Jackie Robinson and wife with Bill Robinson

1947: Rachel and Jackie Robinson (with entertainer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson) accept the keys to a Cadillac given to them by appreciative fans. — © Corbis. All Rights Reserved.

If your job can make you ill, then Jackie Robinson earned plenty of sick days in the spring of 1947, when he donned number 42 with the Brooklyn Dodgers as the first African American player of Major League Baseball's modern era.

See also: Reviews and trailers at Movies for Grownups on YouTube

Actor Chadwick Boseman plays the legendary ballplayer in 42: The Jackie Robinson Story, a new movie about that landmark year. (See a film trailer at the bottom of this page.)

In an interview with AARP, Robinson's widow, Rachel — who's tried to get a film made about Jackie since Sidney Poitier was young enough to play him — described how her husband dealt with the mental and emotional pressures of racism. (See the box below to listen to an audio clip.)

Rachel Robinson attends the Jackie Robinson Foundation Awards Gala

Rachel Robinson today. — Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for The Jackie Robinson Foundation

"He could never show his anger in public," recalls Rachel, now 90. "Jack and I would come back from home games together in the car, and if he said, 'I'll be home a little later,' I knew that he was very angry. He would go to the nearest golf driving range and hit balls. After he hit a couple of buckets of balls, he was ready to come home."

The turmoil on the field never threatened their 26-year marriage, Rachel says. "We pledged to each other to make our home a haven. We wouldn't attack each other, because we were being attacked from the outside. It drew us closer together."

Jackie Robinson died in October 1972 from heart problems and diabetes complications. He and Rachel had three children. A few months before his death, the Dodgers retired his uniform number.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Advertisement

 

Movies for Grownups Radio

Download weekly podcasts of celebrity interviews, entertainment news and more. Listen


Movies for Grownups Awards

AARP honors the films and filmmakers who make the movies we want to see. Read

300_line
100 Must-See Movies for Grownups

100 Must-See Movies for Grownups

By Bill Newcott
E-book
January 2015


A treasure trove of delightfully offbeat recommendations for discerning moviegoers, from the beginnings of film right up the present.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Live Nation

Members save 25% or more when buying tickets in groups of four from Ticketmaster.

Cirque Du Soleil

Members save 15-30% on tickets to live Cirque du Soleil shows.

Member Benefit AARP Regal 2

Members pay $8 for Regal ePremiere tickets purchased online. Conditions apply.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points

Advertisement