Why did Jim Brown retire so early in his career after only 9 seasons in the NFL?

Jim Brown announced his retirement on July 14, 1966 to pursue an acting career. Brown's retirement happened while he was part of the cast filming "The Dirty Dozen." Cleveland owner Art Modell demanded Brown leave the movie set and report to training camp. The running back instead chose to walk away from the game.

Born on St. Simons Island in Georgia, on February 17, 1936, Jim Brown was an All-American athlete who went on to play for the Cleveland Browns as a star running back, setting records and being elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

When Brown retired, he had already established all of the NFL career rushing records, so there were no major individual records left for him to pursue. Brown was healthy and wanted to leave football on his own terms, which he did. One reason that Brown's endeavors were so amazing was that the NFL regular season was only 12 games long when Brown entered the league. In 1961 the league expanded to a 14-game regular season.

Brown was named to the Pro Bowl every year of his career. He was the MVP three times, NFL First-Team All-Pro eight times, he was on the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team and member of the NFL 1960's All-Decade team.

Of interest, the Cleveland Browns honored Jim Brown, one of the greatest players in NFL history, at halftime of the Browns and Buffalo Bills game recently. Find out more here.

Updated on Monday, October 07 2013 at 11:15AM EDT
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