Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Jim "First Down Brown" Brown

Jim "First Down Brown" Brown


  • Position: Halfback
  • School: Syracuse
  • High School: Manhasset, NY (Manhasset HS)
  • Years: 1954-1956
  • Inducted: 1995
  • Place of Birth: St. Simons Isl. , GA
  • Date of Birth: Feb 17, 1936
  • Jersey Number: 44
  • Height: 6-2
  • Weight: 212

Member Biography

Jim Brown put up some sensational numbers for Syracuse. He made runs of 78, 66, 53,41 and 37 yards. Against Colgate in 1956, he rushed for 197 yards. He had other games with rushing totals of 162, 155, 154 and 151 yards. His season rushing total in 1956 was 986, third in the nation, and he was unanimous for All-America halfback. He was a place kicker, and this added to his scoring. Against Colgate in 1956 he made six touchdowns and seven extra points. That was a total of 43 points in a 61-7 game. That same season he scored 21 points against Boston University and 21 against Texas Christian in the Cotton Bowl. Brown's achievements went beyond football. At Syracuse he won 10 letters in four sports. He was on the basketball team two years and averaged 14 points a game in one season. He worked on occasion with the track team. In 1954 he placed fifth in the decathlon at the national AAU track meet. And he was considered the nation's best lacrosse player, an All- America star in the sport and, in 1957, co-winner of the national scoring championship. He once competed in two sports the same day. On a warm May day in 1957 he wore his track suit, won the high jump and javelin, placed second in the discus, and helped Syracuse beat Colgate in a dual meet. Then he put on his Lacrosse uniform and led the way to an 8-6 win over Army, winding up an undefeated season for the lacrosse team. Brown did not play baseball at Syracuse, but he could have. In high school in Manhasset, New York, he pitched two no-hitters. He graduated with a bachelor of science degree and was named the class marshal. This meant he led the class in a parade to the stage for the commencement program. Brown stood 6-2 and weighed 212 pounds in his Syracuse days. He followed college with nine sensational seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He set a one-season rushing record for the National Football League. The record later was broken by O.J. Simpson. After his ninth pro season in 1965, he went full-time as a movie actor. He involved himself in charity work and in 1972 organized Food First, a program that sent food to Marshall County, Mississippi, the nation's poorest county. The NCAA gave Brown one of it's Silver Anniversary Awards. The award is based on an athlete's performance for the 25- year period after graduation. Brown founded Amer-I-Can, a program that offers rehabilitation for wayward persons. He said of this work, "This is life. That's tougher than any football game."