Roosevelt Brown, Jr. is a native of Charlottesville, Virginia and at the age of 13, “Rosey” was drafted out of the band to play football for the first time with his home-town Jefferson High team. He played against his father’s wishes because his own brother was killed playing the sport, but his mother approved. Without injury, he finished his first season before his dad found out about his son’s budding career. After graduation from high school, Brown enrolled at Morgan State and was co-captain his senior year for the Bears and earned Black All-American acclaim all four years, which led to his discovery by the NFL Giants. In addition to his football accomplishments, he won several heavyweight-wrestling titles.
When he reported to his first Giants’ training camp wearing a neat dark suit, horn-rimmed glasses, a cardboard suitcase under one arm and an umbrella under the other, he surely did not look like a NFL rookie! Likely looking or not, Brown went on from there to make football history, a 27th-round draft selection which is now remembered as one of the truly great “sleeper” picks of all time. Rosey won a starting position his first year in the NFL and stayed around for 13 seasons as the Giants offensive right tackle. For eight straight years (1956-1963), he was a virtually unanimous all-NFL choice and for ten successive seasons was named to the Pro Bowl. During the eight years Brown was with the Giants, they won six divisional championships and one NFL title, and during the middle ten years of Brown’s career, the Giants compiled a whopping 86-35-5 record. He was selected as NFL Lineman of the Year in 1956 and started every game in his NFL career except three.
Brown achieved numerous career goals such as being inducted in the Morgan State College Hall of Fame and Helm Hall of Fame. In 1975, he was inducted into both the Maryland Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 1991, he was elected to the Ohio Hall of Fame, and in 1992, was chosen to the New York Sports Museum Hall of Fame. In 1994, he was named into the New Jersey Hall of Fame and was selected to the All-Madden All-Millennium Team of NFL in 1999. He is a 1999 member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Senior Committee and was selected to Street & Smith All-Time Team for 1999. The New York Giants employed Brown for 46 years.