Jackie Robinson was born Jack Roosevelt Robinson on January 31, 1919. He was the youngest of five children. His father, Jerry abandoned the family and ran off to Florida. Jackie's mother Mallie was left to raise her five children alone. In the Spring of 1920 a year after Jerry left, Mallie moved with her five children to Pasadena, California.
Mallie now had with the responsibility to raise all of her children alone. She was a maid and they were a sharecropping family who didn't get paid well. The family made it through very hard times and through financial problems. The Robinson family also faced prejudice everyday. Jackie's sister Willa Mae commented "that there was one side of the street that was named the 'white side of the street' where only white people could be. .
Jackie attended John Muir Technical High School where he starred in football, basketball, baseball, and track. After high school Jackie enrolled at UCLA in September 1939. At college he continued to play football, basketball, baseball, and track. Jackie was the first student at UCLA to play and star in four sports. At UCLA he met Rachel Isumin 1940. Rachel was studying to become a nurse at UCLA Jackie and Rachel later got married February 10, 1946. After marrying Jackie and Rachel had three children: Jackie Jr., David, and Sharon Robinson.
In April 1942 Jackie was drafted into the army. July 6, 1944 Jackie refused to sit in the back of a military bus in Fort Hood, Texas. During this period of time "colored people" were ordered to sit at the back of a bus while white people sat in the front. On August 2, 1944 there was a court-martial trial because of the bus incident. Jackie was honorably dismissed from the Army as second lieutenant.
In the Spring of 1945 Jackie signed with the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro Leagues playing short stop. With the Monarchs he traveled all around the Midwest. At this time the Negro Leagues were almost as popular as the white major leagues.