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Hall of Fame running back, actor, and activist Jim Brown dead at 87

Legendary running back and football hall of famer, Jim Brown, has died at the age of 87.  

Jim Brown initially rose to fame when he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 1957.  He spent nine years there, amassing numbers that kept in as the # 1 rusher for 8 seasons.  He led the Browns to the league championship three times, winning the championship in 1964; and being named MVP three times.  He also managed to amass at least 100 yards for 58 of his 118 regular season games, not missing a single game.  He was known not only for his power but incredible vision of the field and skill.  He would create plays via finding spaces between tacklers; or blow through them with his signature stiff arm.  

Jim Brown was also a social activist both during and after his career as a football, advocating for black athletes and the fight for equality.  Notably, he organized the Cleveland Summit, which brought numerous big name athletes at the time to protest the drafting of Muhammed Ali to serve in the army during the Vietnam War.  

Later in his life, he organized initiatives to curb inner city gang violence and serve underprivileged youth and ex-convicts with his Amer-I-Can program.  

Jim Brown also took an interest in acting.  The 1966 film The Dirty Dozen launched his acting career, with many more afterwards, including Spike Lee’s He Got Game, and Oliver Stone’s behind the scenes football drama, Any Given Sunday.  

NFL Roger Goodell offered a statement, remembering the legendary man and the mark he left on the world: “Jim Brown was a gifted athlete — one of the most dominant players to ever step on any athletic field — but also a cultural figure who helped promote change.  During his nine-year NFL career, which coincided with the civil rights movement here at home, he became a forerunner and role model for athletes being involved in social initiatives outside their sport.”

Brown is survived by his wife, Monique, and 5 children.


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