Football Legend, Actor, and Activist Jim Brown Dead At 87

Football legend, actor and activist Jim Brown has died. He was 87. 

His wife, Monique, announced his passing on Instagram. “It is with profound sadness that I announce the passing of my husband, Jim Brown, she wrote. 

“To the world he was an activist, actor, and football star. To our family he was a loving and wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. Our hearts are broken…,” his wife of 20 years captioned

Brown was born February 17, 1936, on St. Simons Island in Georgia. He attended Syracuse University where he played football and lacrosse.

Brown was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the first round of the 1957 draft. He played with the team for nine seasons and was named a Pro Bowler every year he played. He led the Browns to the league championship three times and he was also named MVP three times.

Brown is the only person to be in the College Football Hall of Fame, National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, and the Professional Football Hall of Fame. 

Cleveland Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam honored the legend in a statement. 

“Jim Brown is a true icon of not just the Cleveland Browns but the entire NFL. He was certainly the greatest to ever put on a Browns uniform and arguably one of the greatest players in NFL history.”  

Brown shocked fans when he abruptly retired from football at the age of 30. He was filming the movie The Dirty Dozen during the offseason in 1966. When production of the film was delayed, Brown informed his team that he would be late for training camp. After Browns’ owner Art Modell threatened to fine him for every day he missed camp, Brown decided to retire to pursue his acting career. He went on to appear in over 30 movies.

The activist founded the Negro Industrial and Economic Union (later known as the Black Economic Union) to support upward mobility for Black people in the Cleveland area. 

In 1988, he created the Amer-I-Can program; the organization’s primary focus was to turn gang members to productive members of society. 

He is survived by his wife and children James Jr., Kevin, Kim, Aris, and Morgan.


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