Posted by Josh Katzowitz
Hall of Fame RB John Henry Johnson, who made four Pro Bowl teams during his 14-year pro career, died Friday at the age of 81.
As the San Jose Mercury News points out, Johnson teamed with RBs Joe “The Jet” Perry and Hugh McElhenny and QB Y.A. Tittle in San Francisco to form one of the most-impressive offensive backfields, nicknamed “The Million Dollar Backfield,” in league history.
Twice in his career, Johnson rushed for more than 1,000 yards, and he also helped the Lions win a NFL title in 1957.
He played in Canada in 1953, but he moved to San Francisco for the 49ers the next three seasons after that, and later in his career, Johnson played for the Lions, Steelers and Oilers.
"He was a very caring man," John L. Brown, Johnson's nephew, told the paper. "He always came back to the Pittsburg (High School) community and gave back. He also was a great family man who loved his five kids and many grandkids."
Said 49ers owner and co-chairman John York in a release: "I was deeply saddened to hear of John Henry Johnson's passing. He was a good friend, not only to my family and me, but the entire 49ers organization. As a member of ‘The Million Dollar Backfield’ he holds a cherished place in both 49ers and NFL history. His contributions to the game of football will be forever celebrated. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the entire Johnson family."
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