For the fiftieth anniversary of Robinson's stellar debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, leading Robinson expert Jules Tygiel has compiled an impressive array of material, some of which has never before been published. Journalists, friends, historians, biographers, and Robinson himself tell the triumphant yet often troubled life story of this American hero. The grandson of a slave, Robinson overcame his fatherless, destitute childhood and his volatile temper, relying on his moral strength, unassailable determination, and exceptional athletic skills to face the insults and attacks he endured when he dared to cross baseball's color line.