NFL

The Tragic Death of New York Giants Star Roosevelt Brown

Roosevelt Brown had a remarkable career with the New York Giants. The offensive tackle immediately made an impact on the team. He spent his entire career playing for the Giants. Brown played in the league for 13 years and was a part of a NFL championship team in New York.

During the mid to late 1950s and early 1960s, Brown was one of the top offensive tackles in the league. He was a hard worker and an essential piece to the Giants offense. 

Roosevelt Brown attended an HBCU before entering the league

Roosevelt Brown was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection with the New York Giants. | Al Paloczy/The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images/Getty Images

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Brown was a native of Charlottesville, Virginia, and he attended Jefferson High School. In high school, he was a member of the school’s band and played the trombone. He wasn’t allowed to play football at first because of an injury his brother suffered while playing and ended up dying. The high school football coach convinced Brown to play for the team. 

So Brown finished his high school career playing football, and he received a scholarship to play at Morgan State University. During the 1951 and 1952 season, he was selected as an All-Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association player. He was also a co-captain of the 1952 team that finished with a 5-4 record.

In December of 1952, the Pittsburgh Courier selected him as a first-team offensive tackle on the 1952 All-America team. For someone who was a late bloomer to football, Brown had success through high school and college. 

Brown was drafted by the New York Giants

Roosevelt Brown (far right) won an NFL championship with the New York Giants during the 1956 season. | Grey Villet/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

After his college career at Morgan State, the Giants selected Brown in the 27th round of the 1953 NFL draft. He signed a one-year contract worth $3,500 in March of 1953. The Giants made a steal by selecting Brown that late in the draft. He immediately became a starter in his rookie season. Brown made an impact on the offensive line his first year in the league, and he continued to impact the team in a big way.

In his third season, he was selected to the Pro Bowl during the 1955 season, and he went on to make five consecutive Pro Bowls after that. During that time, he played on the Giants 1956 NFL championship team. That season Brown played an important role in the offensive blocking for the team’s leading running backs Frank Gifford, Alex Webster, and Mel Triplett. During the 1956 season, he was selected as a first-team All-NFL by the Associated Press, the United, NEA, The Sporting News, and New York Daily News

He also received the NFL’s Lineman of the Year award. Throughout his career with the Giants, Brown remained a key figure on the offense. During his career, he was a 9-time Pro Bowl selection and a nine-time All-Pro selection. In 1974, he was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Browns’ death was a big loss to the Giants organization

Roosevelt Brown spent over 50 years in the Giants organization as a player, assistant coach, and scout. | Robert Riger/Getty Images

After Brown retired from the NFL, he became an assistant coach for the Giants. He started as the assistant offensive line coach and was promoted to offensive line coach in 1969. Brown also spent time working as a scout for the Giants. He remained in the Giants organization well after his playing career.

In 2004, he suffered a heart attack and died at his home in Columbus, a section of Mansfield Township, Burlington County, New Jersey. Brown was 71 when he passed away. He was a fan favorite during his career with the Giants and made an impact on the field and off. He spent over 50 years with the Giants as a player, assistant coach, and scout.