Hall of Fame running back Hugh McElhenny died last week of natural causes at his home in Nevada last week, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced. He was 93.
Nicknamed “The King,” McElhenny spent 13 years in the league with nine seasons with the 49ers. McElhenny landed in six Pro Bowls – five with the Niners and one with the Vikings. He earned first-team All-Pro nods in his first two seasons (1952-1953) as well.
McElhenny was inducted into Canton in the Class of 1970. McElhenny helped comprise the “Million Dollar Backfield” in the mid-1950s with quarterback Y.A. Tittle at quarterback and running backs Joe “The Jet” Perry and John Henry Johnson.
“Hugh McElhenny was a threat in all phases of the game offensively – rushing, pass receiving and as a kick and punt returner,” said Jim Porter, president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “His all-around talent – obvious to pro football scouts when Hugh was still a teenager – will be celebrated and preserved forever in Canton.”
McElhenny rushed for 5,281 yards and 39 touchdowns, along with 3,247 receiving yards and 20 TD receptions in his career. The 1952 No. 9 pick by the Niners spent nine seasons in San Francisco, two seasons in Minnesota and one season with Detroit and the Giants before retiring after the 1964 season.
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