NFL Great Jim Brown Dies at 87

Jim Brown at the Cleveland Browns' new uniform unveiling | Image by Erik Drost, Wikimedia Commons

One of football’s all-time greats has died.

Former running back Jim Brown, 87, passed away “peacefully in his sleep” at his home in Los Angeles, his wife said Friday.

“To the world, he was an activist, actor, and football star,” his wife, Monique, wrote in an Instagram post. “To our family, he was a loving and wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. Our hearts are broken…”

Brown retired from the NFL at age 30, but before he did, he set the league’s all-time rushing record, playing for the Cleveland Browns. The Hall of Famer was a three-time league MVP.

The hard-charging Brown was drafted out of Syracuse, where he also was a lacrosse star, in 1957. He played nine seasons for the Browns (1957-65). He led the league in rushing eight times, finishing with 12,312 yards and 5.2 yards per carry.

The Browns were four-time league champions with Brown. He was a Pro Bowl selection every year he played.

Brown later became a civil rights activist and actor. He arranged the 1967 Ali Summit with boxer Muhammad Ali and Boston Celtics star Bill Russell.

He campaigned for former President Barack Obama in the 2008 election.

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