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Formed in 1920 by Rube Foster, and considered the first organized professional Negro baseball league. The NNL fell apart in 1931 under the economic stress of the Great Depression and the death of president Rube Foster. A separate Negro National League was organized in 1933, that concentrated on the east coast players. The Negro American League, founded in 1937, included several of the same teams that played in the original Negro National League, and carried on as the western circuit of black baseball.