By Stacy M. Brown, Senior National Correspondent, NNPA Newswire
Jim Brown, the superstar Cleveland Browns running back who quit football at the very height of his hall-of-fame career, has died at 87. He passed away on May 18.
Perhaps the greatest running back ever, Brown quit football to pursue an acting career at 30. From 1957 to 1965, the perennial all-pro helped lead a Cleveland Browns ground game that won an NFL championship in 1964.
Voted pro football’s greatest player of the 20th century, Brown earned induction into the Hall of Fame in 1971. But football wasn’t the only sport in which he excelled. He played basketball, track and lacrosse at high levels. He was inducted into the Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1984.But football is where he chiefly left his mark.
Notably, in 1965, Cleveland Browns owner, Art Modell, issued an ultimatum to the superstar, telling him that if he continued filming the hit movie, “The Dirty Dozen,” which was delayed because of technical problems, Brown would face fines for reporting late to training camp. Ever independent, Brown defied Modell and called a press conference to announce his retirement from football.
Brown also didn’t hesitate to speak out on...