Historical | Princeton (1898-1976)
Born in Princeton in 1898, the son of an escaped slave, Paul Robeson graduated from Somerville High School and then attended Rutgers. Even though he faced strong opposition as one of the school’s first African-American students, he excelled in four sports, was twice named an All-American in football and graduated class valedictorian. After earning a law degree from Columbia University, he left the legal profession to pursue a career in the performing arts. Internationally acclaimed as scholar, athlete, orator, actor and concert singer, he was a powerful and uncompromising advocate for the full equality of Black Americans. A believer in the “oneness of humankind,” he championed the causes of the disadvantaged worldwide. Although persistently attacked for his political activism, he never regretted his stands. His stellar accomplishments in so many fields are a testimonial to his great character and fortitude.