Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Henry “Hank” Aaron, the former home run king and advocate for civil rights, died Friday morning at the age of 86. The Atlanta Braves announced his passing Friday.
While the cause of death is unknown as of the publishing of this article, the Braves said Aaron died peacefully in his sleep, according to USA Today.
Aaron was born on Feb. 5, 1934 in Mobile, Alabama. He began his legendary baseball career for the Negro League’s Indianapolis Clowns, then went on to play 23 years in the major leagues, most of which for the Braves franchise in both Milwaukee and Atlanta, before finishing his career with the Milwaukee Brewers.
He went on to become an all-star from 1955-1975, and at the age of 40, broke Babe Ruth’s then home run record with his 715th home run on April 8, 1974. Aaron finished his career with 755 dingers, a record that stood for over 30 years. He officially was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, his first year of eligibility.
On top of his career accomplishments in baseball, Aaron became a vocal advocate for civil rights and overcame racism growing up in the Deep South. His impact is still felt throughout the world of sports to this day.
RIP Hammerin’ Hank!