James Nathaniel 'Jim' Brown (born February 17, 1936) is an American former professional football player who has also made his mark as an actor. He is best known for his exceptional and record-setting nine-year career as a running back for the NFL Cleveland Browns from 1957 to 1965. In 2002, he was named by Sporting News as the greatest professional football player ever. He is considered to be one of the greatest professional athletes the U.S. has ever produced. James Nathaniel Brown was born to Theresa (a housekeeper) and Swinton Brown (a professional boxer). At Manhasset Secondary School, Brown earned 13 letters playing football, lacrosse, baseball, basketball and running track. According to the New York Times: Mr. Brown credits his self-reliance to having grown up on St. Simons's island, an all-black 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 8 he moved to Manhasset, N.Y.
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