The name is revered within the American theater, but Paul Robeson was also an outstanding football player at Rutgers University. Once called "the greatest defensive back ever to trod the gridiron," he was named All-American in 1917 and 1918, the first Rutgers athlete ever to be so honored.
Although he went on to earn a law degree from Columbia, it was Robeson's talent as a theater and film actor, as well as a singer, that earned him international stardom.
A man of untempered courage, Robeson's political activism included rallying against segregation and lynching in the American South as well as his controversial support for the Soviet Union and Joseph Stalin, which later led to investigation by the House Un-American Activities Committee. Despite his pro-Communist leanings, he was a man of considerable influence and inspiration.
Photo courtesy of Hard Road to Glory, Rutgers University
Click here to check out Arthur's CBS radio interview in 1989 with Harold Dow, following the release of A Hard Road To Glory. Arthur talks about African-Americans in sports and how Black athletes have affected
Civil Rights in America.
A Hard Road to Glory Profiles
Drawing from the many athletes that Arthur Ashe profiled for his unprecedented book A Hard Road to Glory, which examined the history of African-Americans in sport
Click the links below to view the Featured Athlete's profile page