Julius Campbell Jr., one of the key football players portrayed in the renowned 2000 film “Remember the Titans,” has died at the age of 65, his family confirmed to the Washington Post.
Campbell attended T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va. when the area schools began to integrate in 1971. He played for the school’s undefeated football team, the Titans, and won the Virginia AAA state championship, according to the Washington Post.
The movie, in which Campbell was played by Wood Harris, depicted the story of newly appointed coach and his high school team during their first season as a racially integrated school.
Herman Boone, the real-life coach for the Titans from 1971 to 1979, told the Washington Post that Campbell was “very, very instrumental” to the integration of the Titans at a time where some kids had never interacted with someone outside their own race.
“Julius took it upon himself to lead the team and rebuild race relations,” Boone told the Post.
Campbell was born Dec. 5, 1953 and was the second of five children. He was survived by his wife Cathy Campbell, his daughter, three stepdaughters, two stepsons and five grandchildren. According to the Post, the family has requested donations to the ’71 Original Titans Scholarship Fund instead of flowers.