Pro Football Hall of Famer Hugh McElhenny Has Died


Pro Football Hall of Famer Hugh McElhenny, a member of the 49ers’ “Million Dollar Backfield” has died at the age of 93.

“The King,” as he was coined within weeks of beginning his pro football career, played in the NFL for 13 seasons. He was a member of the 49ers from 1952-’60, the Vikings from 1961-’62 and was a member of the Lions in 1964.

He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 1970. 

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced McElhenny’s passing in a tweet on Thursday.

“Hugh McElhenny was a threat in all phases of the game offensively – rushing, pass receiving and as a kick and punt returner,” Jim Porter, the president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame said.

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“His all-around talent – obvious to pro football scouts when Hugh was still a teenager – will be celebrated and preserved forever in Canton.”

McElhenny retired from the NFL with 11,375 all-purpose yards and 60 touchdowns. The 11,375 all-purpose yards was third all-time at the time that he retired. 

After he retired from his playing career, McElhenny served as the color commentator for 49ers radio broadcasts for six seasons and was part of a business endeavor to bring a football team to Seattle. Eventually, a separate ownership group founded the Seahawks, a franchise that’s still present today.

McElhenny spent his final years removed from the game of football.

“Life was very good to me,” McElhenny told the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“Football was very good to me. I had a lot of fun playing football. We played the game for the fun of the game.”


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