Jim Brown, who is considered one of the greatest football players of all time, has passed away, reports ESPN. He was 87.
His passing was confirmed by his wife, Monique in an Instagram post on Friday.
"To the world he was an activist, actor, and football star," her post read. "To our family he was a loving and wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. Our hearts are broken..."
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell called Brown a "gifted athlete" who "became a forerunner and role model for athletes being involved in social initiatives outside their sports.”
Brown began his legendary sports career as a standout at Syracuse University where he lettered in football, basketball, track, and lacrosse.
As a junior in 1955, he rushed for 676 yards (5.2 per carry), and in his senior year, Brown was a consensus first-team All-American.
In the 1957 NFL Draft, Brown was drafted as the sixth overall selection by the Cleveland Browns.
In every season he played, Brown made the Pro Bowl team and was named the AP NFL Most Valuable Player three times. He won an NFL championship with the Browns in 1964 and led the league in rushing yards in eight out of his nine seasons.
At the top of his game, Brown retired at age 30 as the NFL’s leading rusher with 12, 312 yards in 1965. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.
After football, he launched his successful career as an actor. Some of his most well-known films include The Dirty Dozens, Dark Side of the Sun, Slaughter's Big Rip-Off, The Slams, Three the Hard Way, I'm Gonna Git You Sucka.
In100 Rifles, Brown had one of the first interracial love scenes on film with Raquel Welch.
Off the field, Brown was revered for his commitment to the Black community and social justice causes. He was a vocal critic of racism and police brutality. He worked to end gang violence in communities across the nation by founding the Amer-I-Can Foundation in the 1980s.
Of the many accolades he received in his career, Brown was named the greatest professional football player ever by The Sporting News in 2002.
Jimmy and Dee Haslam, current owners of the Cleveland Browns, described Brown as "a true icon" for the NFL.
"He was certainly the greatest to ever put on a Browns uniform and arguably one of the greatest players in NFL history," the Haslams said in a statement. "Jim was one of the reasons the Browns have such a tremendous fan base today. So many people grew up watching him just dominate every time he stepped onto the football field but his countless accolades on the field only tell a small part of his story."
We at EBONY extend our prayers and deepest condolences to the family and friends of Jim Brown.