True: The Four Seasons of Jackie Robinson is an unconventional biography, focusing on four transformative years in Robinson’s athletic and public life: 1946, his first year playing in the essentially all-White minor leagues for the Montreal Royals; 1949, when he won the Most Valuable Player Award in his third season as a Brooklyn Dodger; 1956, his final season in major league baseball, when he played valiantly despite his increasing health struggles; and 1972, the year of his untimely death. Through it all, Robinson remained true to the effort and the mission, true to his convictions and contradictions.
Kennedy examines each of these years through details not reported in previous biographies, bringing them to life in vivid prose and through interviews with fans and players who witnessed his impact, as well as with Robinson’s surviving family. These four crucial years offer a unique vision of Robinson as a player, a father and husband, and a civil rights hero–a new window on a complex man, tied to the 50th anniversary of his death and the 75th anniversary of his professional baseball debut.
True: The Four Seasons of Jackie Robinson received the Casey Award as Best Baseball Book of the Year.
Speaker Bio: Kostya Kennedy
Kostya Kennedy is an editorial director at Dotdash Meredith, overseeing special editions under LIFE, People, EatingWell, Real Simple, Health, Entertainment Weekly and other brands. The editions embrace a range of topics including pop culture, health and wellness, food, lifestyle, music, and pets. He is a former assistant managing editor and senior writer at Sports Illustrated. He has been a staff writer at Newsday and has written for The New York Times, Time, FiveThirtyEight.com, The Huffington Post and The New Yorker.
Kennedy is the author of the award-winning 56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports, as well as Pete Rose: An American Dilemma. Both were New York Times bestsellers and each also received the CASEY Award. Kennedy’s 2016 book Lasting Impact: One Team, One Season. What Happens When Our Sons Play Football followed a season of high school football.
Kennedy earned an M.S. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, from which he received a Pulitzer Fellowship. He has taught in the graduate journalism program at Columbia and at NYU, in the journalism department, and at the Preston Robert Tisch Institute of Global Sport. His television work includes regular appearances as a contributing analyst and commentator on the MLB Network, as well as appearances on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Morning Joe, and numerous other television and radio programs. He lives with his wife and children in New York.
Funding for this project is made possible by the State of Connecticut and the National Endowment for the Humanities, both of which provide significant support to Connecticut Humanities.