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Paul Robeson


Paul Leroy Robeson

Inducted 1995

Date of Birth



Princeton, NJ


Rutgers University (1915-1918)


Paul Robeson played four years for the famous coach, G. Foster Sanford. Rutgers had a 22-6-3 record in that time. Robeson was a powerful contributor to that record. In 1915, against Rensselaer he recovered an opponent's fumble and set up a touchdown. In 1917, he scored on 40-yard and 37-yard pass plays against Fort Wadsworth. Against Syracuse the same year he caught passes on two key plays and, on defense, intercepted a pass. Also in 1917 against Newport Naval Reserve, he caught one touchdown pass, and was outstanding on defense. This game was played Nov. 24. Newport was undefeated and heavily favored because it had an all-star line-up of former college stars. Rutgers won 14-0. Robeson was a two-time All-America end. Following college, Robeson played three years as a pro and was reported to make as much as $500 a game, and he used his money to pay his way through law school at Columbia University. At Rutgers, Robeson was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, was valedictorian of the class in 1919. He won the college oratorical contest four straight years and gave the commencement address at graduation. Robeson won 12 letters in four sports. This man of many talents became an actor, singer, and lecturer. He was on Broadway and in the movies. His rich basso made his signature song "Ol' Man River" a classic. In 1925, he made a recording that sold 55,000 copies in four months. Ebony Magazine called him "one of the ten most important black men in American history."


Height 6'3

Weight 210

Career Highlights

  • 1918 Consensus All-America
  • 1917 Consensus All-America
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