Jim Brown, a Cleveland Browns legend and one of the greatest players in game history, died on Thursday at the age of 87. Monique Brown, his wife of 26 years, posted the news on Instagram on Friday afternoon.

Jim Brown, Pro Football Hall of Famer and civil rights advocate, dead at 87

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She added, “It is with profound sadness that I announce the passing of my husband, Jim Brown. He passed peacefully last night in our LA home. 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…”

Brown, who was born on February 17, 1936, on St. Simons Island off the coast of Georgia, was chosen first overall by Cleveland in the 1957 NFL draft out of Syracuse University, where he played football and lacrosse.


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Brown had an immediate impact in Cleveland and, as a result of a strong debut season, was unanimously elected Rookie of the Year in 1957. In 1964, Cleveland won the NFL title by defeating the Baltimore Colts 27-0 with Brown’s help.

Brown never missed a game throughout his career, and he was also chosen for the Pro Bowl each of his nine seasons, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Why Jim Brown remains the standard of NFL greatness - Sports Illustrated

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While filming The Dirty Dozen, a legendary war movie that also stars Charles Bronson and Donald Sutherland, Brown controversially announced his retirement in London. Given that Brown had recently won his third MVP award, the choice stunned the NFL.

In addition to retiring his No. 32 jersey, the Browns also inducted Brown into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971. In September 1989, he released his autobiography, Jim Brown Out of Bounds, and went on to appear in over 50 films and television shows.

Published by HOLR Magazine.