Hank Aaron Bio And Facts

Hank Aaron

Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron was a professional baseball player who played the position of right field. Aaron grew up in Mobile, Alabama, and excelled at the sport of baseball as a young man. Following an outstanding and brief stint in the Negro Leagues, Aaron quickly caught the attention of major league ball clubs. Hank Aaron joined the Milwaukee Braves and stuck with the franchise throughout the majority of his career.

Hank was one of the greatest power hitters to ever play the game. He is famous for breaking Babe Ruth’s all time home run record when Aaron belted his 715th career home run in 1974. Moreover, Aaron remained healthy during his career, which allowed him to produce incredible numbers every season.

In addition to being considered an all time baseball great, Aaron is revered as a pioneer of the civil rights movement. He conducted himself with professionalism on and off the field, and became a powerful leader for those who were underrepresented.

  • Born: February 5, 1934 (05-02-1934)
  • Died: January 22, 2021 (22-01-2021)
  • Education: Central High School, Josephine Allen Institute
  • Net Worth: $25 million (2021)
  • Occupation: Professional Baseball Player
  • Height: 6’0” (1.83 m)
  • Weight: 160 lbs (72.57 kg)
  • Position: Right Field
  • Years Active: 23 years
  • Nicknames: Hammerin’ Hank
  • Teams: Milwaukee Braves, Atlanta Braves, and Milwaukee Brewers

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Baseball Career

Hank Aaron started playing baseball in the Negro Leagues at the age of 18. He was an excellent player, and he led his team to a league championship the year before he signed with a major league ball club. Hank Aaron debuted in the major leagues in 1954 at the age of 20 with his new team the Milwaukee Braves. 

Aaron did well in his first year in the MLB, but he quickly became a superstar the next season. Aaron was one of the most consistent baseball players of all time. Each year, he constantly posted a batting average over .300, while also hitting 30+ home runs. Aaron went on to play 21 seasons with the Braves over his 23 year career.

Hank Aaron was an idol to many Americans during the Civil Rights Movement because of his accomplishments in a predominantly white league. Aaron’s quiet and calm demeanor reassured many Black Americans that actions can speak just as loud as words.

Titles and Awards

Hank Aaron did not receive much recognition during his playing career because of his quiet personality and the racial tensions in America. Despite the lack of praise, Hank Aaron still went on to change the history books. 1957 was the greatest year of Hank Aaron’s career. Hank Aaron won his only NL MVP award for the 1957 season, and he also led the Braves to a World Series victory. 

The most historic moment of Hank Aaron’s career occurred in the year 1974 when he set a new Major League home run record. He finished his career with an incredible 755 home runs, and is currently second on the all-time list.

Hank Aaron was selected into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in the year 1982. Hank Aaron's career stat line is unparalleled, and he is recognized as an all time great. In 2002, Hank Aaron received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his outstanding philanthropy work and his dedication to changing racial inequality.

Personal Life

Hank Aaron grew up in Mobile, Alabama during the height of segregation in America. Aaron excelled at sports in high school, playing both football and baseball. He chose baseball as a career after high school and went straight to playing in the Negro Leagues.

Hank Aaron experienced racism firsthand during his professional baseball career. Aaron was at the prime of his career during the civil rights movement in the United States. After breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record, Aaron received hate mail and death threats. Aaron spoke out about injustice in the game of baseball by commenting on how Black players do not receive opportunities to coach or manage in the sport after retirement.

Hank Aaron was married two times. He married his first wife, Barbara Lucas, in 1953, and they had five children, three daughters and two sons. The Aarons divorced in 1971, and Hank Aaron was remarried in 1973, to Billye Suber Williams, with whom he had one daughter. Aaron and Williams remained married until Aaron’s death in 2021.

Post-retirement, Hank Aaron rejoined the Atlanta Braves organization in the front office as an Executive Vice President. Hank Aaron wrote an autobiography that was released in 1990, and he continued to advocate for minority hiring in baseball throughout his life. Aaron died in his sleep on January 22, 2021, of natural causes, at the age of 86.

Fun Facts

  • Hank Aaron was the last professional baseball player to play in both the Negro League and Major League Baseball.
  • After hitting the record breaking 715th career home run, Aaron was mobbed at the plate by teammates, fans, reporters, and his parents. Aaron also received high fives from the opposing players as he rounded the bases.
  • Hank Aaron is tied for the most All-Star game appearances at 24 games.
  • In 1999, Major League Baseball created the Hank Aaron award, which is given to the best hitter in each league. The winners are selected by a voting delegate of broadcasters.
  • Hank Aaron is tied for the Major League record of most consecutive seasons with 30 or more home runs at 15 years.
  • Hank Aaron’s most lucrative yearly salary was $240,000 dollars, which he earned in his final two seasons of his career.
  • Aaron was a devoted fan of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, often attending their games and sitting in the “Dawg Pound” bleacher section behind the east end zone.
  • Though he is known throughout the baseball world as Hank Aaron, in private, Aaron preferred to be called by his full given name, Henry.


How many career home runs did Hank Aaron have?

Hank Aaron finished his career with 755 home runs. Hank Aaron stayed healthy for the majority of his career, which allowed him to compete at an elite level every time he touched the field. His consistency empowered him to hit over 30 home runs every year for the majority of his career. During his 23 year career, Hank Aaron averaged 32.8 home runs every season. Currently, he is second on the all time major league home run list.

How did Hank Aaron combat racism?

Hank Aaron was seen as a leader in the Black community during the Civil Rights Movement because of his professionalism and composed demeanor. It did not sit well with discriminatory fans that Hank Aaron was going to break the home run record set by the legendary Babe Ruth. Aaron received hate mail and death threats during his career, but that did not stop him from speaking out against injustice. Till his death, Aaron remained dedicated to providing opportunities for racial minorities.

How many career hits did Hank Aaron have?

Hank Aaron finished his career with 3,771 hits. He is currently ranked third on the all time major league hits list. Not only did Aaron just hit for power, he was also an incredible situational hitter. Aaron was not always looking to smash the ball out of the ball park when he stepped up to the plate. He was a disciplined hitter who put the ball in play. Hank Aaron was one of the most feared hitters of all time because of his ability to drive the baseball.

Was Hank Aaron an incredible all-around hitter?

Hank Aaron was an outstanding all-around hitter. Finishing his career with 3,771 hits and a batting average of .305 is a remarkable stat line. Most MLB players who are considered power hitters usually do not have great averages. They tend to focus on just hitting home runs, which causes them to have a lower average. Aaron was the greatest home run hitter ever and he still managed to post an incredible average every year.