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Jackie Robinson Foundation Honors Johnson & Johnson CEO " Alex Gorsky " & Pioneer Sports Writer " Claire Smith " @ JRF Annual Awards Dinner in NYC !

New York City(SMI-WIRE,03.06.17) The Jackie Robinson Foundation hosted it's 42nd annual awards dinner today, honoring pioneer sportswriter " Claire Smith " and Alex Gorsky (Johnson & Johnson CEO), during a sold-out  event @ New York Marriott Marquis in Times-Square Manhattan.

The black-tie fundraiser award dinner, where individuals and institutions are recognized for expressing the humanitarian ideals of Jackie Robinson through devoting their lives to the promotion of social justice, excellence and human dignity. The gala raises funds for the Jackie Robinson Foundation’s unique scholarship program, which provides financial grants in addition to mentoring and leadership training for minority college students, and for The Jackie Robinson Museum project.


2017 Honorees :

Claire Smith is an American sports-writer. She covered the New York Yankees from 1983 to 1987 as the first female Major League Baseball beat writer, working for the Hartford Courant.

She later worked as a columnist for the New York Times from 1991 to 1998 and She is currently a news editor for ESPN. 

Her mother Bernice was a chemist working for General Electric. Smith credits her for sparking her interest in baseball, especially for Jackie Robinson and the Dodgers. Her father, William, was an illustrator and sculptor. She was born in Langhorne, Pennsylvania and attended Penn State University and the Temple University.

Smith was named the 2017  J.G. Taylor Spink Award by Baseball Writers' Association of America  on December 6, 2016, becoming the first woman to receive the award.

She has won numerous other awards, including the Legacy Award from the National Association of Black Journalists, the Mary Garber Pioneer Award from the Association of Women in Sports Media and Sam Lacy Legacy Award from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.Commissioner of Baseball Bowie Kuhn, who once fought to keep women sports writers out of major league clubhouses, later called Smith, "the best baseball writer in America.


Alex Gorsky

Alex Gorsky is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Johnson & Johnson. Alex is the seventh person to serve as Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson since it became a publicly traded company in 1944.

Alex began his Johnson & Johnson career as a sales representative with Janssen Pharmaceutica in 1988. Over the next 15 years, he advanced through positions of increasing responsibility in sales, marketing, and management. In 2001, Alex was appointed President of Janssen, and in 2003, he was named Company Group Chairman of Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceuticals business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

In January of 2011, he was named Vice Chairman of Johnson & Johnson’s Executive Committee. Alex became Chief Executive Officer on April 26, 2012 and Chairman of the Board on December 28, 2013.

A longtime advocate of diversity and inclusion, Alex has been named one of the “100 Most Inspiring Leaders” by Pharma Voice. He is the Executive Sponsor of two Johnson & Johnson employee resource groups, the Women’s Leadership Initiative and the Veteran’s Leadership Council.

Alex is a member of the Board of Directors of IBM, the Congressional Medal of Honor Board of Directors, and the Board of Directors of the National Academy Foundation. He was recently given the Joseph Wharton Leadership Award and the CADCA Humanitarian of the Year Award, as well as an Honorary Doctorate from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. 

Alex holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and spent six years in the U.S. Army, finishing his military career with the rank of Captain. Alex earned a Master of Business Administration degree from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1996.

Jackie Robinson Foundation:

Founded in 1973, the Jackie Robinson Foundation works to level the playing field in higher education by providing generous, multi-year scholarships, comprehensive support services and leadership training to college and graduate students nationwide. Through his leadership, skill and courage, Jackie Robinson broke barriers in sports, media and business, impacting our entire society and helping to set the stage for the modern civil rights movement. For more than 42 years, the Jackie Robinson Foundation has continued Robinson’s commitment to equal opportunity by addressing the achievement gap in higher education, and is poised to expand his rich legacy by building the Jackie Robinson Museum in New York City.

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