You are currently viewing More than Jackie’s Older Brother

More than Jackie’s Older Brother

During the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Jesse Owens embarrassed Adolf Hitler by winning multiple Gold Metals for the United States, including one for the 200 meters race. Finishing second 0.4 seconds behind Owens in that race to win the silver medal was Mack Robinson. Both men broke the Olympic record in that contest. Robinson was then 22. Because he had been diagnosed with a heart murmur at an early age, doctors recommended that he participate only in non-contact sports, like track and field. Robinson did have a younger brother, however, who — somehow, incredibly — lettered and excelled at four different sports while attending UCLA. His weakest sport was baseball, and yet following military service in World War II he went on to break the color barrier in baseball and earn his place in the game’s Hall of Fame. He was Mack Robinson’s brother, Jackie. In time they both suffered from diabetes. Jackie Robinson died at only 53, but Mack Robinson — without the titanic stress, struggle and burden his brother faced — survived his diabetes to reach the age of 85. The remarkable stories of each of these three men have been told in Hollywood movies.