Ed Brown was born in San Luis Obispo in California and attended high school there. He played for the University of San Francisco Dons as their quarterback. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1952, but his football career was stalled as he served in the Marines. He joined the Bears in 1954 and when he started in 1955, he established a reputation for the long ball. In 1956, Brown was the top quarterback with 96 completions on 168 passes for 1,667 yards yielding 11 touchdowns. Behind Brown, the Bears lost the NFL Championship Game in 1956. Coaching the Bears was Paddy Driscoll. The Giants had Head Coach Jim Lee Howell, but perhaps more importantly they had Tom Landry as Defensive Coordinator and Vince Lombardi as Offensive Coordinator. Veteran quarterback Charley Conerly and a cast of stars on both sides of the Giants roster proved too much for the Bears that year.

Brown played for the Bears from 1954-1961. He was with the Steelers from 1962 through most of 1965 and finished out his career with a short stay in Baltimore in late 1965. Brown had 949 completions on 1,987 attempts for 15,600 yards and 102 touchdowns for his career. He had a 47.8 completion percentage and 138 interceptions.  For 8 seasons with the Bears, Brown had 607 completions on 1,246 attempts for 63  touchdowns and 88 interceptions. Brown was named on the Top 100 Bears of All Time.

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