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Hank Aaron, Who Overcame Racist Barriers to Become Home Run Record-Holder, Dies at 86

HeadlineJan 25, 2021

Baseball legend Hank Aaron, whose 755 career home runs stood as a record for over three decades, has died at the age of 86. Aaron began his career as an 18-year-old in the Negro Leagues before joining the Major Leagues in 1954, following Jackie Robinson and several other Black players. As he approached Babe Ruth’s long-standing home run record in the 1970s, Aaron and his family received a torrent of racist hate mail and death threats. He told The New York Times in 1994, “I had to have a police escort with me all the time. I was getting threatening letters every single day. All of these things have put a bad taste in my mouth, and it won’t go away. They carved a piece of my heart away.”

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