In 1915 he won a scholarship to Rutgers College, New Jersey, and was also educated at Columbia University law school, where he graduated in 1923. An outstanding athlete as well as scholar, Robeson was selected for the All-American college football team as the finest player in his position. For a short time thereafter he played professional football and semi-professional basketball. In 1921 he married his lifelong partner, Eslanda Cordozo Goode (1896-1965), an analytical chemist in a hospital pathology laboratory. She would later manage Robeson's career, and even though their relationship was often stormy and included periods of separation, she was initially a major influence in his life and the author of an early biography, Paul Robeson, Negro (1930).
Robeson began his acting career in 1920, appearing in Simon the Cyrenian in Harlem, New York, and played his first professional part in 1922 in Taboo. It was in 1922 as a member of the cast of this play, now renamed Voodoo, that Robeson made his dbut in Britain. In later years he recalled that it was during his performances in Voodoo at the Blackpool Opera House in 1922 that he first realized he had the talent to make a career as a singer. ...Show more