Jim Brown

by Daniel from Fredericksburg

Young Jim Brown  (Young Yearbook)
Young Jim Brown (Young Yearbook)

What does it mean to be a hero? How does someone become a hero? A hero is someone who does something great in the eyes of another person. They don't have to be famous to everybody, or even known by everyone, they just have to do something that affects someone's life in a positive way. To be a hero means that someone sees you as a model, who has done something great to help them or others. A hero to me is someone who is brave, strong, and someone who has compassion for others. A person who embodies these traits to me is Jim Brown. Most know Jim Brown for what he has accomplished in many different sports, but not as many people know about the good he has done off the field.

Jim Brown had a difficult childhood that shaped him to help others in the future. It made him want to help kids who were in the same situation as he was as a child. He didn't want people to go through what he had to when he was a kid. Jim Brown was born on February 17, 1936 on St. Simons Island off the southern coast of Georgia. He was abandoned by his father shortly after his birth, and his mother left when he was two to take a job as a maid on Long Island, New York. His great-grandmother raised Brown, and they shared a house with his grandmother, who was an alcoholic. When he was four, he attended school in a segregated two-room shack. Then, at eight, his mother sent for him; it was the first time they had seen each other in six years.

Once in high school, he began to thrive as an athlete but still made choices that reflected his difficult childhood. He played for the varsity teams in basketball, track, football, and lacrosse. He earned 13 different letters in high school, split between those 4 different sports. He was the star of the football, lacrosse, and basketball teams. He earned a scholarship to Syracuse for football, and was the star of the team. He also played basketball, and lacrosse while at Syracuse. By the end of his senior year, Brown was named first team all-American in football and lacrosse. Despite these accomplishments, Brown and several other athletes created a gang called "The Gaylords," and Brown was elected president. Brown looked to the gang to fill empty spots in his family life.

Jim Brown early football career  (deadline (Unknown))
Jim Brown early football career (deadline (Unknown))

Brown was drafted in the first round of both the football and lacrosse drafts.He played professional sports until 1965, when he decided to pursue a movie career. During his time playing sports he formed a union called the Negro Industrial Economic Union. He formed this union to help African American owned businesses grow. He also created the Amer-I-Can program to give gang members and poor people ways to integrate themselves into society. These foundations show how Jim Brown's childhood affected his adult life. You can see that he wants kids who were put into similar situations as him to have a better future. He knows he became a special case because he started out poor, and was even in a gang, and sports helped him become successful. He wants to give people the chance that he was given to do more with their lives.

Convincing people who feel disadvantaged that they can accomplish more is important to him. Jim Brown once said, "I don't teach kids to be No. 1. Organizations and people that tell you have to be No. 1; that's not it. You don't have to be No. 1. What I teach is to be as good as you can be. Use what you have and be as good as you can be. That's all you can do, anyway". Brown just wants to help because he knows how it feels for them. He has been in their shoes and doesn't want these people to have to go through what he went through.

Even though Jim Brown had an extremely rough childhood, he still made something of himself and wants others to do the same. Jim Brown is my hero because he is brave, strong, and has compassion for others. He is a man who overcame hardships, and helps others fight against those same hardships. He isn't only a great person to model oneself after, but also has the athletic abilities everyone wants. He was inducted into 3 different hall of fames throughout his sports career (The College Football Hall of Fame, The Professional Football Hall of Fame, and The Professional Lacrosse Hall of Fame). Jim Brown is an amazing man, and one would be lucky to be compared to him in any way.

Page created on 3/2/2016 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 3/2/2016 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.