His death was announced on Friday by his former team the Detroit Lions and the College Football Hall of Fame. The Lions did not give the cause of death but said that a member of Brown's family confirmed the death.
"Roger Brown will always hold a special place in our team's history. Roger's career accomplishments solidify his legacy alongside some of the all-time greats of our game. I am happy we were able to induct Roger into the Pride of the Lions in 2018 to ensure that his contributions to the Lions will never be forgotten," the Associated Press quoted Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp as saying.
Brown featured in the NFL for a decade after being picked up in the fourth round of the 1960 draft by the Lions. In his seven seasons with the Lions, Brown went to the Pro Bowl five times (1962-66) and was an All-Pro selection in 1962 and '63. He started in 124 of the 138 games he played.
"In my 10 years with the Lions and the Rams, I never missed a game. I had broken hands and broken bones. But probably not as many as I caused. I had 12 operations," Brown had said in a 2015 interview with The Virginian Pilot.
The most memorable game in Brown's career was on Thanksgiving Day in 1962 against Green Bay when he sacked Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr seven times for the Lions. The Lions had 11 sacks in that game, which remains a franchise record to date.
Sacks were not made into an official statistic by the NFL until 1982, but Brown had four seasons with 10 or more with Detroit, according to Pro Football Reference, including 14 1/2 in 1964.
Brown went to the Los Angeles Rams in 1967 and joined the "Fearsome Foursome" defensive line alongside Deacon Jones, Lamar Lundy, and Merlin Olsen for three seasons. He made the Pro Bowl in 1967 after getting seven sacks.
Brown was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009 after a dominating career at Maryland Eastern Shore from 1956-59. He was a two-time NAIA All-American and was part of a team that went 24-5-1 during his four years at the school.
"Roger Brown was an absolute force on the defensive line at Maryland Eastern Shore. He was a huge part of HBCU football history and helped usher in the era of massive linemen to the game," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning.
Brown went on to live in Virginia after his retirement from football and went on to establish himself as a successful businessman and restaurateur.
(With inputs from the Associated Press)