Roosevelt Brown

From Cvillepedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Roosevelt Brown #79, Trading Card signed "Rosie Brown", c. 1956
Roosevelt Brown, Class of 1975 - Pro Football Hall of Fame
Not to be confused with Rosey Grier

Roosevelt "Rosie" Brown (October 20, 1932June 9, 2004) was a native of the City of Charlottesville and developed into one of the premier offensive linemen in pro football. Following a star-studded high school football career at Jefferson High School, Brown went on to earn a football scholarship and a degree from Morgan State University. Drafted by the New York Giants in 1953; he was the league's lineman from 1953 to 1965.[1]

Early years

Brown was born in Charlottesville and lived with his family in the Fourth Ward, at 230 Fifth Street NW[2], near what is now called the Starr Hill and the Fifeville and Tonsler Neighborhoods Historic District neighborhoods.[3] His father, Roosevelt Brown, Sr. (1910 - 1963), was a railroad worker who was out of town much of the time.[4] The younger Brown recalled his youth as follows:

"I was always a big boy. When I was 6, my mother put me in school and I took a test. I must have passed it because they put me in third grade. No first grade and no second grade. That meant I graduated from high school when I was 15 and from college at 19. When I played my first game for the Giants, in 1953, I was still 19."[5]

Brown played football at Jefferson High School, at that time the city's only African-American high school during segregation. He played trombone in the school's band, having been forbidden to play football after his older brother was injured playing the sport and died.[6] The school's football coach, Robert W. Smith[7], ultimately persuaded the 180-pound Brown and recruited him to play football,[8] though he did so initially without his father's knowledge.[5][6] (Alternative accounts state that Brown was drafted against the wishes of his father, Mr. Brown, whose own brother had been killed playing football.)[9] Coach Smith said, "The band director almost wanted to fight me for him. He said that 'Rosey' [sic] would be a great trumpet player, and I said he'd be a great blocker. I just couldn't see a 210 pound kid playing the trumpet."[7]In all of his football experiences in high school and college, Brown had never played either with or against a white player, let alone under a white coach.[10]

Football career

Brown was an offensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL) from 1953 to 1965.[11] Standing 6'-3" and playing at 255 (small by today's NFL standards for offensive line-men), Brown was voted to the All-NFL team for eight consecutive seasons and for nine Pro Bowls. [12] In his prime, Brown earned $20,000 a year ($185,000 in 2018 dollars). Nobody plays this game for the money, he said then. You have to enjoy it. You have to have the game in your heart. They can't pay us enough for what we go through on the field.[13]

After retiring, Brown served as the Giants' assistant offensive line coach and later joined the scouting department. He was with the New York Giants for 50-plus years in various capacities. Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1975 and in 2000 was chosen for NFL's 75-year anniversary team.

  • The New York Giants (NYG) are a professional American football team based in the New York metropolitan area. The Giants compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference East division.[14]

Film career

  • Intolerable Cruelty (2003)
  • Dickwad (1994)
  • Daddy Dearest (TV Series - 1993)
  • Offensive Care (1993)
  • American We (1993)
  • Amen (TV Series - 1989)
  • Sing, Sister, Sing (1989)
  • Annie McGuire (TV Series - 1988)
  • The Journey (1988)

Family and death

Roosevelt was born in Charlottesville on October 20, 1932 to Roosevelt Brown, Sr. and Catherine T. Brown. His father, Roosevelt Brown (b. 5/26/1910 – d. 1/5/1963) was born in Anderson, South Carolina to Pink and Lyria Brown. His mother, Catherine Tylor (b. 4/22/1910 – d. 1/28/1971) was born in Washington, DC to Nelson Bennett Taylor and Virginia Jackson. His sisters were Mrs. Adolphus Hailstock, Mrs. Sidney Page & Barbara Brown and his only brother was Frank Brown. [15]

In June 2004, at his home in the Columbus, New Jersey, Brown suffered a heart attack while gardening. He died at age 71. He was survived by his wife, the former Linda Lock, two stepchildren, and two sisters.[8][16] According to the New York Times obituary, he was survived by stepson, Kyle Anglin of Montclair, N.J.; a stepdaughter, Tiffany Anglin of Petersburg, Va.; three stepgrandchildren; and two sisters, Lyria Hailstork and Mary Page, both of Charlottesville.[17]

Roosevelt Brown died on June 9, 2004 and is buried at Lincoln Cemetery in Albemarle County.[18] He was proceeded in death by his father, Roosevelt Brown, Sr., who is also buried at Lincoln Cemetery.[19]


Historic Marker: ROOSEVELT "ROSEY" [sic] BROWN, JR.

Well known locally for being the first African American professional football player from Charlottesville to be named to the NFL Hall of Fame, Roosevelt Brown Boulevard is a street named in his honor.[20]

People.jpg This biographical article is a stub. You can help cvillepedia by expanding it.


  4. Funeral Records, Race and Place, An African-American Community in the Jim Crow South, Virginia Center for Digital History, University of Virginia.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Template:Cite news
  6. 6.0 6.1 Book. [ The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame: Honoring Champions of the Commonwealth], Clay Shampoe, Arcadia Publishing
  7. 7.0 7.1 Template:Cite news
  8. 8.0 8.1 Template:Cite news
  14. Web. Rosey Brown Stats,, Sports Reference LLC, retrieved September 28, 2016.
  15. Funeral Records, Race and Place, An African-American Community in the Jim Crow South, Virginia Center for Digital History, University of Virginia
  16. Template:Cite news

External Links