Nicknamed Newk, he became the first pitcher to win the National League MVP and Cy Young in the same season in 1956. He played for the Newark Eagles, Los Angeles and Brooklyn Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians.
He played a year in the Negro Leagues before breaking into the Majors.
He became the first African-American pitcher to start a World Series game in 1949.
He was married three times; first to Freddie Cross; then to Billie Roberts and lastly to Karen Kroner, which lasted up until his death. He had a total of three children.
He was the first pitcher to win a Rookie of the Year Award, an MVP trophy, and a Cy Young award. Justin Verlander became the second.