James Nathaniel Brown is an American former professional football player, sports analyst and actor. He was a fullback for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League from 1957 through 1965.
Considered to be one of the greatest football players of all time, Brown was a Pro Bowl invitee every season he was in the league, was recognized as the AP NFL Most Valuable Player three times, and won an NFL championship with the Browns in 1964.
He led the league in rushing yards in eight out of his nine seasons, and by the time he retired, he had shattered most major rushing records. In 2002, he was named by The Sporting News as the greatest professional football player ever.
Brown earned unanimous All-America honours playing college football at Syracuse University, where he was an all-around player for the Syracuse Orangemen football team.
He also excelled in basketball, track and field, and lacrosse. The football team later retired his number 44 jersey. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995.
- Full name: James Nathaniel Brown
- Profession: American football player
- Born: 17 February 1936 (age 84 years), St. Simons, Georgia, United States
- Height: 1.88 m
- Spouse: Monique Brown (m. 1997), Sue Brown (m. 1959–1972)
- Education: Syracuse University (1953–1957), Manhasset Secondary School
- Children: Jim N. Brown Jr., Karen Brown Ward, Aris Brown, Kim Brown, Kevin Brown
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About Jim Brown
Brown was born in St. Simons Island, Georgia, to Swinton Brown, a professional boxer, and his wife, Theresa, a homemaker.
At Manhasset Secondary School, Brown earned 13 letters playing football, lacrosse, baseball, basketball, and running track.
Mr. Brown credits his self-reliance to having grown up on Saint Simons Island, a community off the coast of Georgia where he was raised by his grandmother and where racism did not affect him directly.
At the age of eight, he moved to Manhasset, New York, on Long Island, where his mother worked as a domestic. It was at Manhasset High School that he became a football star and athletic legend.
— The New York Times – film review, 2002.
He averaged a then-Long Island record 38 points per game for his basketball team. That record was later broken by future Boston Red Sox star Carl Yastrzemski of Bridgehampton.
In his professional career, Brown carried the ball 2,359 times for 12,312 rushing yards and 106 touchdowns, which were all records when he retired.
He averaged 104.3 rushing yards per game, and is the only player in NFL history to average over 100 rushing yards per game for his career.
His 5.2 yards per rush is second-best among running backs. Brown was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.
He was named to the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, and later to the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team, comprising the best players in NFL history.
In 2020, Brown was honored at CFP championship game as greatest college football player of all time.
His number 32 jersey is retired by the Browns. Shortly before the end of his football career, Brown became an actor, and had several leading roles throughout the 1970s.