Hank Aaron (died January 22nd, aged 86)
Baseball legend Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron died of natural causes in his sleep at his home in Atlanta. Nicknamed “Hammer” or “Hammerin’ Hank,” was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 following a distinguished MLB career highlighted by 755 home runs ― a career record that stood for more than 30 years.
Aaron famously broke Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record in the face of racism. As he was trying to surpass Ruth’s record, Aaron was taunted at ballparks, received death threats and racist hate mails.
“There were times during the chase when I was so angry and tired and sick of it all that I wished I could get on a plane and not get off until I was someplace where they never heard of Babe Ruth,” Aaron wrote in his I Had a Hammer autobiography. “But damn it all, I had to break that record. I had to do it for Jackie Robinson [first African American to play in MLB in the modern era] and my people and myself and for everybody who ever called me a (N-word).”