Willa Mae Robinson was famously known as the older sister of Mack Robinson and Jackie Robinson. Mack was a well-known athlete of his time and Jackie was a famous baseball player. Willa Mae had two older brothers as well. Willa basically raised her two younger brothers after their father’s death as her mother was busy making ends meet. To know more about Willa Mae Robinson, do keep on reading.
Personal Life of Willa Mae Robinson
Willa Mae Robinson was the only daughter of Mallie McGriff and Jerry Robinson, born in Cairo, Georgia, in 1910. She was ten years old when her family moved north to Pasadena, California. Willa Mae’s early childhood was spent in Pasadena’s black community, then called the “East Side.” The Robinsons were one of the few black families who owned their own homes.
As a young girl, Willa Mae was shy and withdrawn. She was an excellent student, but she didn’t make friends easily. When she was almost ten years old, her brother Jackie was born, and Willa Mae became his protector. She watched over him and made sure he stayed out of trouble.
Relationship of Willa Mae with her Youngest Brother
When Jackie was a teenager, he began to rebel against the strict rules of the household. He started hanging out with a rough crowd and getting into trouble. Willa Mae was the only one who could reach him. She talked to him and listened to him, and she helped him to see that he was going down the wrong path.
Jackie was in the US. Army for two years. After his military discharge, Jackie became a professional baseball player. Willa Mae was his biggest fan. She went to all his games and cheered him on. When Jackie broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, Willa Mae was proud of him.
When Jackie died on October 24, 1972, Willa Mae was devastated. She felt as if she had lost her best friend. But she took comfort in the fact that Jackie had made a difference in the world. He changed how people thought about race and inspired other black athletes to achieve their dreams.
All about Jackie Robinson
In 1947, Jackie Robinson made history as the first African American player in Major League Baseball. Robinson’s exceptional talent and grace under pressure changed the game of baseball and opened the door for other black athletes to follow in his footsteps.
In 1945, Robinson played for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro Leagues. He was scouted by the Brooklyn Dodgers and signed a contract with the team in 1947. He was met with racism and hostility from both fans and other players, but he persevered. Robinson went on to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award and helped lead the Dodgers to the World Series in 1955.
Robinson retired from baseball in 1957, but his legacy continued to live on. In 1962, Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, becoming the first African American player to be so honored.
Willa Mae Robinson died in 2008, at the age of 98. All her siblings passed away before her. She was left heartbroken. Willa Mae had a very good relationship with Jackie’s wife, Rachel, and their children, Jackie Jr., Sharon and David.