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Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown passes away at age 87

The Hall of Famer was one of the most iconic running backs in college and pro football history.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Cleveland Browns Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

College and pro football legend Jim Brown passed away at age 87 on Friday afternoon. His wife, Monique Brown, announced the news via her Instagram account. Brown was heralded as one of the greatest running backs in the sport’s history and retired in 1966 as the NFL’s all-time rushing leader.

His wife, Monique Brown, announced his death on her Instagram account on Friday.

Brown’s legend began during his collegiate days at Syracuse, where he excelled in both football and lacrosse. A unanimous All-American in 1956 and infamously snubbed for the Heisman Trophy that same year, Brown would leave Syracuse as the most iconic player in program history. His No. 44 would be passed down to players like Ernie Davis and Floyd Little before eventually being retired by the program.

Drafted by the Cleveland Browns with the No. 6 pick in the 1957 NFL Draft, he quickly established himself as the best running back in the history of the sport. Through nine seasons, he ran for a then record 12,312 rushing yards and 106 touchdowns, earning nine All-Pro selections and three NFL MVP awards for his efforts. Brown helped lead the Browns to the 1964 NFL Championship, which stood as the last pro sports title for a Cleveland team until the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Championship in 2016. Following his retirement in 1966, his rushing record would stand for 18 years until Walter Payton broke it in 1984.