The Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) is a public, not-for-profit national organization founded by Rachel Robinson in 1973 as a vehicle to perpetuate the memory of Jackie Robinson and his achievements.
Navigate with the left and right arrows to read through The Foundation History.
Rachel Robinson honors her husbands's memory by establishing the Jackie Robinson Foundation following his death in October 1972. In May, Chesebrough–Pond's becomes JRF's first corporate sponsor.
JRF becomes the sole beneficiary of "An Afternoon of Jazz" concert. The concert began in 1963 as a way to raise bail money for jailed civil–rights activists.
Jerry Lewis becomes the Foundation's first President and CEO. Debora Young, the first JRF Scholar, graduates from Boston College; Rachel Robinson is on hand to present Debora's degree.
JRF hosts its first independent Awards Dinner. Robie Awards, the Foundation's highest tribute to an extraordinary individual who has devoted a lifetime to the promotion of social justice and human dignity, are presented to Arthur Ashe and Ralph Ward. JRF opens its office on Court Street in Brooklyn, sharing space with the Jackie Robinson Development Corporation.
The first Scholars Networking Weekend is held at the Robinson home in Connecticut.
Betty Phillips Adams is JRF's second President and CEO. During her tenure the program expands and Coca–Cola sponsors a traveling exhibit called "Jackie Robinson: An American Journey"
The JRF Alumni Association is established. They begin serving as peer mentors and are appointed to Selection Committees.
President of the National League, Leonard S. Coleman, Jr., is appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors.
The nation celebrates the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s historic entry into baseball. JRF launches a $12 million endowment campaign with a $1 million gift from Major League Baseball. The first endowed scholarship is named for Ennis Cosby.
Steven Brown becomes the Foundation's third president. During his first year, 215 scholars were matriculating at 71 colleges and universities across the country.
The Starr Foundation gives two grants totaling $1.7 million. It was the largest single gift received by JRF at that time and allowed the Foundation to substantially increase the number of scholars it served.
JRF achieves two significant milestones: The 100th Scholar sponsored by first supporter, Unilever (nee Chesebrough–Pond's) is selected. JRF passes the $10 million mark in scholarship aid.
Della Britton Baeza becomes JRF's fourth President and Chief Executive Officer. She initiates a strategic plan for the future of JRF; working to expand its mission, donor base, technological capabilities, and number of Scholars.
JRF launches the "Extra Innings" program with matching funds provided by The Windmill Foundation. The program provides financial support to JRF Scholars who want to pursue graduate degrees.
JRF relocates to state–of–the–art offices in the SoHo district of Manhattan.
JRF celebrates its 35th Anniversary. The first class of JRF Scholars to receive a Rachel Robinson International Fellowship or "RRIF," a global initiative to give Scholars the opportunity to travel abroad for community service, travels to Ghana and Mozambique.
Celebration of Jackie Robinson's 90th birthday. JRF announces plans for the Jackie Robinson Museum with NIKE, the Yawkey Foundation, the New York Mets, Citi, and the New York Yankees as early supporters.
Los Angeles office of JRF spearheads the 5th Annual Jazz on the Grass held in Sherman Oaks, California
JRF bestows inaugural Chairman's Award. The award recognizes outstanding leaders in the sports industry.
JRF launches Program app for JRF Scholars - JRF Connect
JRF celebrates its 40th Anniversary; Writer-Director Brian Helgeland's "42", the Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures film chronicling Jackie Robinson's first year in the Major Leagues, opened on April 12.