News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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April 25, 2013

Jackie Robinson biographer making his pitch Friday at ISU

TERRE HAUTE — A biographer of iconic baseball player Jackie Robinson will speak at 7:30 p.m. on Friday in Hulman Memorial Student Union, Dede I, as part of Indiana State University’s Community Semester series “Our Town.”

Biographer Arnold Rampersad has also written about Langston Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois, Arthur Ashe and Ralph Ellison.

Rampersad, professor emeritus of English at Stanford University, received unprecedented access to Robinson’s private papers for his 1997 book. Robinson’s landmark journey is chronicled in the movie “42,” now playing in theaters.

Robinson became the first black player in Major League Baseball when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him at first base on April 15, 1947. He played 10 seasons, retiring in 1956.

A six-time All-Star and a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Robinson was also the first black television analyst in major league baseball, and the first black vice president of a major American corporation. In recognition of his achievements on and off the field, Robinson, who died in 1972, was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

Rampersad’s talk is sponsored by the English and history departments, the African and African-American Studies Program, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Terre Haute Rex.

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