Photo caption: Jim Brown
Known as one of the greatest rushers in NFL history, former Cleveland Browns running back and franchise player Jim Brown passed away at the age of 87.
Brown’s bio notes he was not only an athlete but a Civil Rights activist, and actor as well. The Hall of Fame running back played for the Browns of the National Football League (NFL) from 1957 through 1965. He is considered by his peers as one of the greatest players in NFL history. He was a Pro Bowl invitee every season as a player in the League and was recognized as the AP NFL Most Valuable Player three times in his NFL career. Brown won an NFL championship with the Browns in 1964.
Brown’s bio also states he led the League in rushing yards in eight out of his nine seasons as a player, and by the time he retired, he held most of the NFL’s major rushing records.
In 2002, Brown was named by the Sporting News as the greatest professional football player ever. Brown also earned unanimous All-American honors playing college football at Syracuse University, where he was an all-around player for the Syracuse Orangemen football team.
The team later retired his Number 44 jersey, and he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995.
He is also widely considered one of the greatest lacrosse players of all time, and the Premier Lacrosse League MVP Award is named in his honor. Brown also excelled in basketball and track and field.
In his professional career, Brown carried the ball 2,359 times for 12,312 rushing yards and 106 touchdowns, which were all records when he retired. He averaged 104.3 rushing yards per game, and is the only player in NFL history to average over 100 rushing yards per game for his career. Brown was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.
He was named to the NFL’s 50th, 75th, and 100th Anniversary All-Time Teams, comprising the best players in NFL history. Brown was honored at the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship as the greatest college football player of all time.
His Number 32 jersey is retired by the Browns.
Brown was born in St. Simons Island, Georgia, to Swinton Brown, a professional boxer, and his wife, Theresa, a homemaker. He attended Manhasset Secondary School in Manhasset, New York. He earned 13 letters playing football, lacrosse, baseball, basketball, and running track.
He married his first wife, Sue Brown, in September 1959. She sued for divorce in 1968. Their divorce was finalized in 1972. Together, they had three children, twins born in 1960, and a son born in 1962.
Brown married his second wife, Monique, in 1997; they had two children.
Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago.