Aviation's Jackie Robinson
It took a Supreme Court decision, but in 1963 Marlon Green finally broke into the majors.
- By Tony Reichhardt
- Air & Space magazine, March 2007
Courtesy Green Family
(Page 2 of 2)
Looking back, he marvels at his own persistence and wonders if he would do it again knowing what he knows now. Of the airlines’ resistance to integration, he says “I don’t think it had to be that way….It was so much hell getting to where we are now.”
He calls his story “Jackie Robinson-esque," but then quickly backs off, uncomfortable with the analogy. “I never contemplated being on a Wheaties box,” he laughs.
And unlike Robinson, he was never spat at or jeered. One of the airlines’ biggest fears was that passengers would refuse to fly with a black pilot, particularly in the South. But it never happened, says Green, not with passengers and not with his fellow pilots. In fact, he can’t recall a single incident “dramatic enough to be memorable.”