Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown, the unstoppable runner who retired at the peak of a illustrious career to become a prominent actor and civil rights advocate during the 1960s, has died. He is 87 years old.
A spokesman for the Brown family said he died peacefully at his Los Angeles home Thursday night with his wife, Monique, by his side.
One of the greatest players in football history and one of the game's first superstars, Brown was voted the NFL's Most Valuable Player in 1965 and broke the league record books in a brief career during 1957-65.
Brown led the Cleveland Browns to their final NFL title in 1964 before retiring in his prime after the '65 season to become an actor. He appeared in more than 30 films, including “Any Given Sunday” and “The Dirty Dozen.”
An unstoppable runner of strength, speed, and endurance, Brown's arrival sparked the game's booming popularity on television. After he finished playing, Brown became a prominent leader in the Black power movement during the civil rights struggle of the 1960s.
In later years, he worked to curb gang violence in LA and founded Amer-I-Can, a program to help disadvantaged city youth and ex-convicts.
On the field, there's no one like Brown, who will break through at a potential tackle, refusing to let one man take him down before running away from linebackers and defensive backs. He was also noted for using a stiff arm to squash defenders in an open field or push them around like a rag doll.
“My arms are like my armor and my weapon,” Brown said during an interview with NFL Films.
Admittedly, the Browns are unlike any other back before, and some feel there's never been a better Cleveland No. 1. Unrivaled 32. At 6 feet, 230 pounds, he is dominant, relentless and relentless, his main reels featuring running circles and piercing opponents, fighting for every yard, dragging out multiple defenders or finding holes where there seems to be none.
After Brown was tackled, he slowly got up and walked more slowly back to huddle – then dominated defense as he got the ball again.