Brown advanced unity

Jim Brown was considered by many to be the greatest running back in the history of football.

Brown attended Syracuse University, where he was named an All-American running back and later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995. He was also All-American in lacrosse and is considered one of the best players ever in that sport.

In addition, Brown excelled academically and was named as one of five recipients of the NCAA Silver Anniversary Outstanding Students of the Past 25 Years.

During his illustrious nine-year professional football career, all of which was spent with the Cleveland Browns, he established many records on the field, including a career total of 12,312 yards gained.

Brown averaged 104 yards a game and 5.2 yards-per-carry, an average that has never been broken. He ran for 237 yards in a game twice, scored five touchdowns in another game and four times scored four touchdowns. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards seven times, scorching opponents for 1,527 yards in one 12-game season and 1,863 in a 14-game season.

While playing professional football, Brown began laying the foundation for the Black Economic Union.

In 1966, he and some of the finest African-American minds in the country formally established the BEU, whose motto was produce, achieve and prosper.

In 1980, Brown set his aspirations toward helping empower the disenfranchised and became involved with Coors’ Golden Door and Barriers, two job-creation programs for ex-convicts to properly re-introduce them into society’s mainstream.

Brown’s six-year association with the Vital Issues Project helped elevate the organization’s status nationally and help thousands of inmates and ex-convicts transition back into society.

In 1988, Brown founded The Amer-I-Can Program Inc., a life management skills curriculum that teaches responsibility and self-determination. Approximately 95 percent of the Amer-I-Can staff is composed of former gang members and/or ex-convicts.

His efforts have contributed to gang truce in Los Angeles.

Brown retired from football after the 1965 season .

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