Posted on May 1, 2003
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander today announced he is co-sponsoring legislation to posthumously award American civil rights and baseball legend, Jackie Robinson, the Congressional Gold Medal. "This award honors Jackie Robinson's historical contributions to the professional world of sports and his lasting influence on the advancement of civil rights for all Americans," Alexander said. Robinson, who died in 1972, was the first African-American player in Major League Baseball. He signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 and went on to receive several awards, including Most Valuable Player. He was later inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Robinson co-founded the Freedom National Bank of Harlem and continued to work with other religious and civic organizations. The Jackie Robinson Foundation was later founded in his memory to provide assistance to children of low-income families. The original sponsors of the legislation are Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and John F. Kerry (D-MA).