SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Former San Francisco 49ers halfback Hugh McElhenny died at the age of 93 of “natural causes” on Friday, June 17, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced in a news release Wednesday.
He began his 13-year NFL career on the 49ers from 1952-60, finishing his career with the Minnesota Vikings (1961-62), New York Giants (1963) and the Detroit Lions (1964), according to Pro Football Reference. After football, he served as a color commentator on 49ers radio broadcasts for six years.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
During his NFL days in the 1950s, McElhenny was nicknamed “The King” and was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970. He made six Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams.
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McElhenny was a member of the 49ers’ “Million Dollar Backfield,” according to the release. The Pro Football Hall of Fame posted a video in McElhenny’s honor on social media.
He finished his career with 5,281 rushing yards and 38 rushing touchdowns.