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Actor, activist, legendary NFL running back Jim Brown dies at 87

NFL great Jim Brown (pictured, 2020) also was a social activist in the '60s, as well as a film and TV actor. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
1 of 2 | NFL great Jim Brown (pictured, 2020) also was a social activist in the '60s, as well as a film and TV actor. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

May 19 (UPI) -- Pro football Hall of Famer and legendary running back Jim Brown died at 87 Friday at his Los Angeles home, according to his wife, Monique.

The three-time NFL Most Valuable Player also was a respected actor, as well as a social activist in the 1960s.

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"It is with profound sadness that I announce the passing of my husband, Jim Brown. He passed peacefully last night at our LA home. To the world he was an activist, actor, and football star. To our family, he was loving and wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. Our hearts are broken," Monique Brown wrote in an Instagram post Friday.

During his professional football career, Brown rushed 12,312 yards and went on to play in three league championships with the Cleveland Browns, winning the 1964 title. He was also named MVP three times.

Off the field, Brown played a prominent role in the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s.

Brown helped organize the 1967 Cleveland Summit, which brought together prominent black athletes to support Muhammad Ali's refusal to fight in Vietnam. During the 1980s, he worked to end gang violence and help disadvantaged youth.

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Brown was chosen for the NFL's 100 all-time team in 2020.

The Cleveland Browns tweeted a tribute to Brown Friday.

"Jim Brown Forever. Legend. Leader. Activist. Visionary. It's impossible to describe the profound love and gratitude we feel for having the opportunity to be a small piece of Jim's incredible life and legacy. We mourn his passing but celebrate the indelible light he brought to the world. Our hearts are with Jim's family, loved ones, and all those he impacted along the way," Brown's former team tweeted.

In addition to his football career and activism, Brown was a prolific film actor, playing a supporting role in MGM's 1967 hit, The Dirty Dozen, and the 1968 American espionage classic Ice Station Zero. In later years, he acted on television programs such as Knight Rider and The A-Team.

Brown also worked many years as a TV sports analyst.

Brown is survived by his wife, Monique, and his adult children Aris and Morgan.

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Lee Sun-kyun arrives at a photocall for "Parasite" during the Cannes International Film Festival in Cannes, France, on May 22, 2019. The South Korean actor died at the age of 48 on December 27. Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo

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