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Sad news to report. NFL Hall of Famer Willie Brown died Tuesday at the age of 78. His cause of death was not immediately reported.

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Brown was born in Yazoo City, Mississippi, on Dec. 2, 1940. The cornerback played with Denver Broncos from 1963 to 1966 and the Oakland Raiders from 1967 to 1978. The Raiders released the following statement:

“Willie Brown will forever be cherished as a true Raider. He exemplified the Raider spirit… He remained an integral part of the organization through six decades. His legendary performance on the field changed the way the cornerback position was played and his valued guidance as a coach, mentor and administrator permeated the organization and touched countless individuals both on and off the field.”

The statement closed with, “Willie’s loss will leave a tremendous void, but his leadership and presence will always be a major part of the fabric of the Raiders Family.”

See one of Brown’s classic moments below:

He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker said in a release, “The entire Hall of Fame family mourns the loss of a great man. Willie Brown was the epitome of the Raiders’ motto of ‘commitment to excellence’ that was integral to the team’s sustained success. He embodied virtues like passion, integrity, perseverance and always led by example. His character, on and off the field, made all those around him better. His legacy will be preserved forever in Canton, Ohio to inspire generations of fans.”

He is also a member of the Black College Football Hall of Fame.

Rest in power to the legendary Willie Brown.

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Detroit Lions 2006 Headshots DETROIT - 2006: Charles Rogers of the Detroit Lions poses for his 2006 NFL headshot at photo day in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Getty Images)
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