Born in Roxburo, North Carolina, he joined the Cardinals in 1938 before being traded to the New York Yankees in 1954.
Batting left, and throwing right, he was renouned for a smooth, flat swing that made him a reliable "contact" hitter. Slaughter had 2,383 hits in his career, including 169 homers, and 1,304 RBIs in 2,380 games.
In 1946 he batted .391, and led the Cardinals to a World Series win over the Boston Red Sox when Slaughter made a famous "mad dash" for home from first base on Harry Walker's double in the eighth inning of game seven with two outs and the game tied 3-3.
He was known for running hard to first base on walks, a habit copied later by Pete Rose.
He was elected to the United States Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985 after a long delay.
After battling non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Slaughter died at age 86.