NFL Legend and Social Activist Jim Brown Dead at 87

Jim Brown, the Hall of Fame running back who played nine seasons for the Cleveland Browns (from 1957 to 1965), has passed away at the age of 87.

This is a photo of Jim Brown.

Image via Getty/Markus Boesch/Allsport

This is a photo of Jim Brown.

Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown has passed away at the age of 87.

Brown’s wife Monique announced the sad news in an Instagram post on Friday, saying the legendary Cleveland Browns running back “passed peacefully” Thursday night at his home in Los Angeles.

“To the world he was an activist, actor, and football star,” the post read. “To our family he was a loving and wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. Our hearts are broken...”

Widely considered one of the greatest running backs of all time, Brown entered the NFL in 1957, and would spend his entire career with the Cleveland Browns. A nine-time Pro Bowler, Brown led the league in rushing yards eight times and rushing touchdowns five times. En route to retiring as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher (12,312 yards), Brown was named NFL Most Valuable Player three times (1957, 1958, 1965), leading the Browns to the NFL championship in 1964. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.

In a tribute shared on Twitter, the Cleveland Browns praised Brown’s football career as well as his legacy as a civil rights activist.

“Brown’s commitment to making a positive impact for all of humanity off the field is what he should also be known for,” the team wrote in a statement. “In the time we’ve spent with Jim, especially when we first became a part of the Browns, we learned so much from him about the unifying force sports can be and how to use sport as a vehicle for change while making a positive impact in the community.”

“Jim broke down barriers just as he broke tackles. He fought for civil rights, brought athletes from all different sports together to use their platform for good. Many thought Jim retired from football too soon, but he always did it his way. From the football field, to Hollywood, to his work in athlete activism, Jim always played the leading role. His devotion to fighting racial injustice, improving education for youth and positively impacting the many lives he has through his Amer-I-Can Program has left a lasting legacy well beyond all he accomplished on the field.”

Jim Brown Forever 🧡🤎♾️

Legend. Leader. Activist. Visionary.

It’s impossible to describe the profound love and gratitude we feel for having the opportunity to be a small piece of Jim’s incredible life and legacy. We mourn his passing, but celebrate the indelible light he…

— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) May 19, 2023

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