(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Whether Jim Brown set out to be the greatest running back in the history of the NFL or not, he definitely succeeded in rivaling many for that label.
For nine years as Cleveland's fullback, Jim Brown was the most unstoppable man on every football field he set foot on.
Brown's athletic success began at Syracuse University where from 1954-1956 he excelled at a variety of sports including football, basketball, track and lacrosse.
As a senior in 1956, Brown was an All-American in both football and lacrosse. He led the Syracuse football team in running with 986 yards and 13 touchdowns that same year. He was also second on the team in interceptions on the defensive side of the ball.
He was third in the nation among college running backs and finished fifth in the Heisman voting.
Jim Brown was drafted by the Browns in the first round in 1957, sixth overall in the draft and went on to win rookie of the year. This was the beginning of one of the greatest careers in NFL history.
Brown won MVP honors four times in his career: 1957, 1958, 1963 and 1965.
He received first team All-American accolades eights times and started in nine Pro Bowls.
His lifetime totals include 12,312 rushing yards and 15,459 yards net.
He was the epitome of reliable as he never missed a game in nine seasons and when he retired in 1965 at the age of 30, he was still considered to be at the peak of his career.
Upon retirement, Jim Brown began a new career as a movie star. He starred in several films including "The Dirty Dozen" (1967) and "100 Rifles" (1969).
In 1971 he became the fourth Cleveland Brown to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
To this day he remains connected to the team and to Cleveland as he can often be seen roaming the sidelines at Browns' Training Camp as well as during games.