A look back at Jim Brown’s life and legacy in photos

May 19, 2023, 05:30 PM ET

Former Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown has died at the age of 87, his family announced on Friday.

Brown led the NFL in rushing yards in eight of his nine seasons in the league. No other running back in NFL history has led the league in rushing more than four times.

Brown retired after nine seasons to pursue a career in entertainment. He was also an activist in the Civil Rights movement.

Here’s a look at his life in photos:

Syracuse/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

Brown graduated from Syracuse in 1957 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army ROTC.

Bettmann/Getty Images

Brown rushed for 2,091 yards and scored 26 touchdowns during his college career at Syracuse.

Syracuse/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

Brown lettered in four sports (football, lacrosse, basketball and track) during his college career at Syracuse.

Peter Stackpole/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Brown sits with teammates in the Syracuse football locker room.

Focus on Sport via Getty Images)

Brown, who was selected in the first round of the 1957 draft, played nine seasons for the Cleveland Browns (1957-65) and led the league in rushing eight of those years.

Bettmann/Getty Images

Brown sits in front of his home with family, wife, Sue and twins Kim and Kevin, 19-months-old.

Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Brown rushed for 12,312 yards and averaged 5.2 yards per carry over his career. He also was named a Pro Bowler every year he played.

Bettmann/Getty Images

Brown visited Elvis Presley between scenes of his movie, “Roustabout.”

Bettmann/Getty Images

He led the Browns to the league championship game three times, winning the title in 1964, and was named MVP three times.

Walt Disney Television/Getty Images

Brown with Les Keiter and Howard Cosell at ringside for the 1964 Cassius Clay- Sonny Liston boxing match.

Bettmann/Getty Images

In June 1967, Brown organized “The Cleveland Summit,” a meeting of the nation’s top Black athletes, including Bill Russell and Lew Alcindor, who later became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, to support boxer Muhammad Ali’s fight against serving in Vietnam.

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

In later years, Brown worked to curb gang violence in Los Angeles, and in 1988, he founded Amer-I-Can, a program to help disadvantaged inner-city youth and ex-convicts.

Ken Regan /Walt Disney Television/Getty Images

Brown interviewed Muhammad Ali about his upcoming fight with George Foreman, The Rumble in the Jungle, in 1974.

Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Brown with then-Cleveland Browns coach Bill Belichick in 1994.

Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images

Brown watches the action from the sideline during a training camp practice in 2014.

Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Imges

Brown was honored with a statue at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland in 2016. “It’s a great moment,” Brown said when the statue was unveiled, “because I feel it throughout my body, particularly in my heart and mind.”

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

“To the world he was an activist, actor, and football star,” his wife, Monique said in announcing Brown’s death in an Instagram post Friday afternoon. “To our family he was a loving and wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. Our hearts are broken…”

Related Articles

Back to top button