Hall of Fame inductee Jim Brown dies at 87


Professional Football Hall of Fame inductee Jim Brown, who retired at the height of his brilliant career to become a prominent actor and civil rights advocate during the 1960s, has died. He was 87 years old.

A spokeswoman for Brown’s family said he died peacefully at his home in Los Angeles on Thursday night, with his wife, Monique, at his side.

One of the greatest players in football history and one of the game’s first superstars, Brown was chosen NFLMost Valuable Player in 1965 and broke league records in a short career spanning 1957-1965.

[Sports world reacts to Jim Brown’s death]

Brown led Cleveland Browns to his last NFL title in 1964 before retiring in his prime after the ’65 season to become an actor. He has appeared in more than 30 films, including “Any Sunday” and “The Dirty Dozen”.

An unstoppable runner of strength, speed, and endurance, Brown’s arrival sparked the game’s growing popularity on television. When he finished playing, Brown had become a prominent leader in the Black Power movement during the civil rights struggles of the 1960s.

In later years, he worked to reduce gang violence in Los Angeles and founded Amer-I-Can, a program to help underprivileged inner-city youth and ex-convicts.

On the field, there was no one quite like Brown, who would blast through would-be tacklers, refusing to let one man bring him down before running away from the linebackers and defensive backs. He was also famous for using his stiff arm to throw defenders into the open field or push them away as if they were rag dummies.

“My arms were like my mother-in-law and my weapons,” Brown said during an interview with NFL Films.

Indeed, the Browns were unlike any running back before him, and some feel there was no one better than the incomparable No. 32 Cleveland. At 6-foot-2, 230 pounds, he was dominant, uncompromising and ruthless, marked by his remarkable balls that It features running right around opponents, fighting for every arena, dragging several defenders along or finding holes where none seem to be.

After Brown was tackled, he would slowly get up and walk more slowly into the crowd – then dominate the defense when he got the ball back.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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