An extract on #jonsnow
After Robinson's retirement from baseball, his wife Rachel Robinson pursued a career in academic nursing. She became an assistant professor at the Yale School of Nursing and director of nursing at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. She also served on the board of the Freedom National Bank until it closed in 1990. She and Jackie had three children: Jackie Robinson Jr. (19461971), Sharon Robinson (b. 1950), and David Robinson (b. 1952).
Robinson's eldest son, Jackie Robinson Jr., had emotional trouble during his childhood and entered special education at an early age. He enrolled in the Army in search of a disciplined environment, served in the Vietnam War, and was wounded in action on November 19, 1965. After his discharge, he struggled with drug problems. Robinson Jr. eventually completed the treatment program at Daytop Village in Seymour, Connecticut, and became a counselor at the institution. On June 17, 1971, he was killed in an automobile accident at age 24. The experience with his son's drug addiction turned Robinson Sr. into an avid anti-drug crusader toward the end of his life.
Robinson did not long outlive his son. Complications from heart disease and diabetes weakened Robinson and made him almost blind by middle age. On October 24, 1972, nine days after his appearance at the World Series, Robinson died of a heart attack at his home on 95 Cascade Road in North Stamford, Connecticut; he was 53 years old. Robinson's funeral service on October 27, 1972, at Upper Manhattan's Riverside Church adjacent to Grant's Tomb in Morningside Heights, attracted 2,500 mourners. Many of his former teammates and other famous baseball players served as pallbearers, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson gave the eulogy. Tens of thousands of people lined the subsequent procession route to Robinson's interment site at Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, where he was buried next to his son Jackie and mother-in-law Zellee Isum. Twenty-five years after Robinson's death, the Interboro Parkway was renamed the Jackie Robinson Parkway in his memory. This parkway bisects the cemetery in close proximity to Robinson's gravesite.
After Robinson's death, his widow founded the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and she remains an officer as of 2015. On April 15, 2008, she announced that in 2010 the foundation will be opening a museum devoted to Jackie in Lower Manhattan. Robinson's daughter, Sharon, became a midwife, educator, director of educational programming for MLB, and the author of two books about her father. His youngest son, David, who has six children, is a coffee grower and social activist in Tanzania.