|Hockey Hall of Fame, 2018 (builder)|
O'Ree in 2019
October 15, 1935|
Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
|Height||5 ft 9 in (175 cm)|
|Weight||175 lb (79 kg; 12 st 7 lb)|
|Played for||Boston Bruins|
Willie Eldon O'Ree, Canadian former professional ice hockey player, best known for being the first black player in the National Hockey League (NHL). O'Ree played as a winger for the Boston Bruins. O'Ree is referred to as the "Jackie Robinson of ice hockey" for breaking the black colour barrier in the sport, and has stated publicly that he had met Jackie Robinson when he was younger.  He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November 2018.(born October 15, 1935) is a
Also in 2018, the NHL instituted the annual Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award in his honour, to "recognize the individual who has worked to make a positive impact on his or her community, culture or society to make people better through hockey."
Willie O'Ree first met Jackie Robinson when he was just 14 years old...The New Brunswick native was in New York for a trip honoring his youth baseball team and managed to carve out a few minutes to chat with the legend by the dugout during a visit to Ebbets Field. O'Ree made sure to inform Robinson that in addition to his baseball accomplishments, he was also a hockey player...Robinson was a bit surprised, not realizing that any black kids played hockey. It was an interaction that proved to be a memorable one...Some 13 years later during an NAACP luncheon in Los Angeles, the two once again crossed paths. Following an introduction, Robinson – the first black player in Major League Baseball history – quickly realized that it was not their first encounter..."'Willie O'Ree – aren't you the young fella I met in Brooklyn?" Robinson asked...It was a moment that O'Ree cherishes to this day – and one he felt important to share during a celebration marking the 60th Anniversary of his breaking the NHL's color barrier.