Art Dorrington, who broke the Colour Barrier in Professional Hockey Dies

A Truro native who broke the colour barrier in professional hockey has died at the age of 87. Art Dorrigton, who became the first black professional hockey player, signed with the New York Rangers in 1950. His signing came two years after Jackie Robinson broke the colour barrier in baseball.

Dorrington never got the call up to skate for the Rangers, but he played in the minors for nearly a decade, first with the Atlantic City Sea Gulls and later for the Philadelphia Ramblers. Dorrington was the leading scorer in the Eastern Hockey League from 1954 to 1956. A broken leg in the late 1950’s ended Dorington’s career.

However Dorington’s love for the sport never faded and he and his wife Dorothie began a foundation in Atlantic City to teach hockey to low-income kids. The foundation’s motto was, “On the ice,Off the Street”. The foundation provided free gear and instruction, with a focus on life skills and education.