HomeNewsNFL Great and Social Activist Jim Brown Passes Away at 87

NFL Great and Social Activist Jim Brown Passes Away at 87

At the moment, the NFL community is mourning the loss of the pro football Hall of Famer Jim Brown. The prolific American football player passed away at the age of 87. He took his last breaths on Thursday night at his Los Angeles house while being surrounded by his dear wife Monique.

The heartbreaking news of Brown’s demise was confirmed by his wife Monique Brown on the social media platform Instagram. Continue reading further to find out the cause behind the demise of the legendary NFL running back Jim Brown.

What was the cause behind the demise of Jim Brown?

Jim Brown who was one of the first superstars in the game of football when it gained popularity on television has left for the heavenly abode. At the time of his passing, he was 87 years old. On Friday, his wife Monique Brown announced that her husband had died via a statement on his official Instagram account.

Monique issued a statement that read, “It is with profound sadness that I announce the passing of my husband, Jim Brown. He passed away peacefully at our LA home. To the world he was an activist, actor, and football star. To our family he was a loving and wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. Our hearts are broken.”

As of this moment, the exact cause behind the demise of Jim Brown is unknown. Later on, down the lane, the pro athlete became a Hollywood action hero and a civil rights activist. Jim is survived by his wife Monique and their two children, in addition to three children from his previous marriage.

Here’s all you need to know about Jim Brown (including his NFL career, early life, and more)

Jim Brown well-known as pro football’s greatest running back was born on February 17, 1937, in St. Simons Island, Georgia. His real name was James Nathaniel Brown. His dad Swinton Brown was a professional boxer by profession. On the other hand, when we talk about his mom, Theresa, she was a homemaker.

When we shed some light on the educational qualifications of the NFL champion, he went to the Manhasset Secondary School in Manhasset, New York. During his teen years, he played many sports including football, lacrosse, baseball, basketball, and running track.

Soon after, Jim attended Syracuse University in the year 1954. As a sophomore, he was the second-leading rusher on the team. As per The New York Times, he bagged all-American honors at Syracuse University in football and lacrosse. In his college days, he also took part in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

Jim Brown’s NFL career explored

For those of you who are unaware, let us share with you, Jim was selected in the first round of the 1957 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns. He averaged 104 yards a game, a record 5.2 yards a pop.

Throughout his illustrious NFL career, Brown played for the Cleveland Browns for a total of nine seasons from the year 1957 to 1965. He helped the football team to win the 1964 National Football League championship.

In a 1999 media interaction, John Mackey spoke about Jim and said, “He told me, “Make sure when anyone tackles you he remembers how much it hurts.” He lived by that philosophy and I always followed that advice.”

Brown who had the most rushing yards and touchdowns in NFL history bid adieu to the world of football in the year 1966. He retired in July 1966. At that point in time, he was 30 years old. 

In the year 1971, Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Then, he was inducted into the Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1984 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995.

Jim Brown was a civil rights activist

Keeping aside his NFL career. Jim was also a civil rights champion. Back in the day, he put together the famous “Ali Summit” of 1967 which included Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Bill Russell.

According to a report by The New York Times, “the moment itself would be remembered as the first — and last — time that so many African American athletes at that level came together to support a controversial cause.”

In the 1960s, the Cleveland Browns player founded the Black Economic Union as a way to assist businesses owned by African Americans. In addition to this, he also founded another foundation called the Amer-I-Can Foundation in the 1980s in an attempt to stop gang violence in Southern California.

Over the years, Brown shed some light on a variety of different issues including educational reform. He continued to speak out about a few topics after he turned 80 years old. He was critical of Black athletes like Michael Jordan and Tiger for not doing enough to enact social change.

During a 2002 interview with Sports Illustrated, the NFL star talked about modern black athletes and said, “They are the beneficiaries of our struggle. But they don’t recognize that because they’re inundated with agents, managers, lawyers, and [team] owners who don’t want them to do anything but play ball and hopefully keep themselves out of trouble and just be physical freaks of nature with no [awareness] of decision-making power.”

In his 80s, Brown was involved in politics. Around the same time, he even campaigned for Barack Obama, but later on, he expressed his disappointment about Obama’s time in office. After his presidential election in the year 2016, he gave public support to Donald Trump. At that time, he mentioned Trump “really talks about helping Black people.”

While having a chat with CNN, Jim said, “When he went through what he went through to become President, he got my admiration. No one gave him a chance.” Brown’s political views were complicated. Jim who was a key figure in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, was outspoken against Colin Kaepernick and others kneeling during the national anthem to bring attention to social injustice.

During an interview with NPR, Dave Zirin who wrote a biography about Brown in 2018 said, “He’s always had this strain of conservatism in his politics that Black people do not achieve advancement through the politics of protest, but through the politics of earning as much money as possible, and trying to get out of the capitalist system whatever they can for the purposes of building economic self-sufficiency. And protest is an impediment to that in the mind of Jim Brown. And those have always been his politics.”

Jim Brown was also an actor

Yeah, you read that right. Jim Brown also tried his hand at acting. He retired from football in the year 1966 to pursue a career in acting. During the same year, he filmed the movie “The Dirty Dozen” in London.

When the owner of Cleveland Browns Art Modell threatened to suspend Brown if he arrived at the training camp late, Jim told Modell he was retiring at the age of 30. In his final NFL season, he rushed for 1,544 yards and 17 touchdowns, leading the league in both categories. He was content to walk away from the game in his prime.

As per his IMDb page, Jim starred in almost 55 movies and many TV shows. His film credits include 100 Rifles, I Spy, Dark of the Sun, The Split, Riot, Black Gunn, Take a Hard Ride, One Down, Two To Go and He Got Game.

Tributes pour in for NFL champion Jim Brown

NFL put out a statement after the news of Jim’s passing broke. The statement read, “We are heartbroken by the passing of the legendary Jim Brown. One of the greatest players in NFL history, a true pioneer and activist. Jim Brown’s legacy will live on forever.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, “On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Monique and their family. 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.”

He added, “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. He inspired fellow athletes to make a difference, especially in the communities in which they lived.”

Cleveland Browns tweeted, “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 brought to the world. Our hearts are with Jim’s family, loved ones, and all those he impacted along the way.”

Syracuse Football penned, “Legend. Icon. 44. There will be only one Jim Brown. We’re saddened to have lost the greatest of all time today. Our thoughts are with the Brown family, his friends and loved ones.”

We send our deepest condolences to the close friends and family members of Jim Brown during this time of difficulty. His iconic legacy will live on forever. May the departed soul rest in peace. Don’t forget to stay tuned with us for the latest updates from the world of entertainment.

Meenal Mehta
Hi, I am Meenal. I'm a travel enthusiast, a movie buff and a cricket fan all wrapped in one. I love to capture moments through my words. Writing is my happy space, it has been a great way of putting all my thoughts out and feel liberated.


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