Legendary Raiders cornerback Willie Brown has died, NBC Sports Bay Area has been told on Tuesday. He was 78 years old.
Brown's health had declined in recent months, as he took a less active role with the team after years as a public face of the franchise. He was a mainstay in the Raiders secondary for 12 seasons during a golden era where the Silver and Black won three Super Bowls. He was a Raiders defensive backs coach for 10 seasons after that, and recently was an ambassador heavily involved in the community and with the team over the last two decades.
Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1984 and is a member of the All-Time AFL team and the NFL's team of the 1970s.
His pick six in Super Bowl XI against Minnesota stands as one of several iconic moments in his illustrious career.
Brown stands among the best defensive backs to ever represent the Raiders, exclusive company considering how many excellent cover men have worn silver and black.
He was extremely close with owner Mark Davis and the Raiders alumni base. Brown's passing comes but a few months after receiver Cliff Branch died unexpectedly. That's a real blow to the entire Raiders family, which values history and tradition and player contributions as much as any team in the NFL.
The Raiders have not made a formal announcement on Brown's passing. Please check back for updates on this story.