Former Cleveland Browns running back Milt Campbell passed away Friday at the age of 78 in his Gainesville, Ga. home after a decade-long battle with prostate cancer.
Campbell was selected by the Browns out of the University of Indiana in the fifth round of the 1957 NFL Draft, the same year in which the team drafted Pro Football Hall of Famers in running back Jim Brown (first round) and offensive tackle Gene Hickerson (seventh round).
In his only season with the Browns, Campbell rushed for 23 yards on seven carries. He also caught one pass, which he turned into a 25-yard touchdown.
Following the 1957 season, Campbell played for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Toronto Argonauts and Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League until 1964.
Prior to pursuing his football career, Campbell became the first African-American athlete to win the gold medal in the Olympic Decathlon when he bested the field at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. Four years earlier, Campbell earned a silver medal for his efforts in Helsinki, Finland. He competed in the 1952 Olympics while still in high school.
For his efforts in the Olympic Games, Campbell was honored with induction into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1999. In June of this year, he was honored by his home state of New Jersey with induction into its Hall of Fame.
Born on Dec. 9, 1933, in Plainfield, N.J., Campbell was selected as the New Jersey Athlete of the Century by the New Jersey Sportswriters Association in 2000.