Proud of his Hispanic and African-American roots, Roberto Clemente relied on his upbringing to weather incidents of racial prejudice that occurred early in his baseball career. He said, “I don’t believe in color, I believe in people. My mother and father taught me never to hate someone because of their color.”
Clemente was known for his zeal and passion for his sport, his inclusive attitude, and his devotion to serving the poor. He was not just a great baseball player but a great humanitarian too. He died tragically in an airplane crash while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua on December 31, 1972.