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Rachel Robinson, Jackie Robinson's widow, has given his papers to the Library of Congress.Comprehensive in scope, the collection of more than 7,000 items richly chronicles all aspects of Robinson's life -- the early years through college, military service, baseball career, corporate career and business interests, civil rights activities, involvement in politics, media activities and humanitarian concerns.
He worked closely with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which recognized him in 1956 with the prestigious Spingarn Medal, awarded annually for the highest achievement by an African American.
Robinson chaired the NAACP's million-dollar Freedom Fund Drive in 1957 and was a member of the board of directors until 1967.
He had a particular interest in the African independence movements and sought to promote education for the next generation of leaders in emerging nations on the continent.
To this end, he supported the work of the African-American Students Foundation, which sponsored African students at American colleges and universities.
He became the vice president of personnel for the Chock Full O' Nuts restaurant chain, where he worked diligently to improve the status of the many lower level African Americans employed there.
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He helped found and served as board chairman for the Freedom National Bank, a minority-owned commercial bank based in Harlem.He also opened a clothing store in Harlem and later established the Jackie Robinson Construction Company to build affordable housing for low- and moderate-income black families.Robinson became a fervent advocate of civil rights, publicizing his views as a lecturer, newspaper columnist and host and guest on radio and television programs.He withdrew from UCLA in his senior year, hoping to relieve some of his mother's financial burdens.He worked for the National Youth Administration as an athletic instructor and also earned extra money playing football for the Honolulu Bears.He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, his first year of eligibility.After his retirement, Robinson engaged in several business ventures that encouraged black economic development.The correspondence includes letters from a wide range of individuals affiliated with baseball -- officials, fellow players and sportswriters. When Jackie Robinson began his rookie season with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, he became the first African American to play major league baseball in the 20th century, breaking down the "color line" in effect since 1876.Among these are Branch Rickey, Walter O'Malley, Clyde Sukeforth, Hank Greenberg, Happy Chandler, E. The son of sharecroppers, Jack Roosevelt Robinson (1919-1972) was born on Jan.Robinson also worked extensively with churches and interfaith organizations.He served as president of the United Church Men of the United Church of Christ and participated in both the National Council of Churches and the National Conference of Christians and Jews.