Willie Brown, Hall of Fame Defensive Back With Raiders, Is Dead at 78


Willie Brown, a Hall of Fame defensive back for the Oakland Raiders in the 1960s and ’70s who returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown in a rout over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI, has died. He was 78.

The Raiders confirmed the death but gave no other details.

Brown was a deft cornerback who joined the Raiders in a trade in 1967 just as the swashbuckling team was becoming one of the best franchises in pro football. He had 39 interceptions in 12 seasons with the Raiders, a team record that he holds with Lester Hayes. He had seven more interceptions in 17 playoff games.

“His legendary performance on the field changed the way the cornerback position was played,” the Raiders said in a statement, “and his valued guidance as a coach, mentor and administrator permeated the organization and touched countless individuals both on and off the field.”

A full obituary will appear soon.

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