49ers legend Hugh McElhenny dies at age 93

Jun 23, 2022 at 12:45 PM--


Legendary halfback Hugh "The King" McElhenny, a member of the San Francisco 49ers' "Million Dollar Backfield" with Y.A. Tittle, John Henry Johnson, and Joe Perry, died Friday, June 17. He was 93 years old. The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the news. McElhenny was inducted into Canton as part of the Class of 1970.


"Hugh McElhenny was a threat in all phases of the game offensively – rushing, pass receiving and as a kick and punt returner," said Pro Football Hall of Fame president Jim Porter. "His all-around talent – obvious to pro football scouts when Hugh was still a teenager – will be celebrated and preserved forever in Canton."

McElhenny amassed 5,281 rushing yards and 38 rushing touchdowns during his Hall of Fame career, adding 264 receptions for 3,247 receiving yards and 20 receiving touchdowns.

San Francisco made McElhenny the No. 9 overall draft pick out of Washington in 1952. He played for the Minnesota Vikings (1961–62), New York Giants (1963), and Detroit Lions (1964) after nine seasons (1952–60) with the 49ers.

"The 49ers family is heartbroken to learn of the passing of one of the NFL's all-time greats, Hugh McElhenny," said 49ers co-chair Dr. John York via a statement issued by the team. "Growing up, my favorite team was the 49ers. I remember so many great players from the late 50s and 60s. When I started to invite an alum to every game, my goal was to meet the 'Million Dollar Backfield.' Hugh was the last of the four to join us and we remained friends. Hugh is a great part of 49ers history."

McElhenny was a two-time first-team All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowl selection during his illustrious 13-year career. He was also named a member of the NFL 1950s All-Decade Team following his Hall of Fame career. McElhenny led the NFL with 7.0 yards per attempt during his rookie 1952 season, earning Rookie of the Year honors.

Upon retiring after the 1964 season, McElhenny was one of three players to earn more than 11,000 all-purpose career yards (11,375).

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