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John Henry Johnson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Henry Johnson
refer to caption
c. 1955
No. 35
Position:Fullback, halfback
Personal information
Born:(1929-11-24)November 24, 1929
Waterproof, Louisiana
Died:June 3, 2011(2011-06-03) (aged 81)
Tracy, California
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school:Pittsburg (CA)
College:Arizona State
St. Mary's (CA)
NFL Draft:1953 / Round: 2 / Pick: 18
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career professional statistics
Rushing yards:6,803
Yards per carry:4.3
Rushing touchdowns:48
Player stats at

John Henry Johnson (November 24, 1929 – June 3, 2011) was a gridiron football running back known for his excellence at the fullback position as both a runner and a blocker. His first professional stint was in Canada in the Western Interprovincial Football Union (WIFU, a forerunner league to today's Canadian Football League) for one season with the Calgary Stampeders. He then played in the National Football League (NFL) for the San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions, and Pittsburgh Steelers before spending his final season in the American Football League (AFL) with the Houston Oilers. Commonly referred to as simply John Henry, an allusion to the folk hero of the same name,[1] Johnson was a tough and tenacious player who performed at a high level well into the tail end of his career.

After playing college football for St. Mary's College of California and Arizona State, Johnson was selected in the second round of the 1953 NFL Draft by the Steelers, the 18th overall pick. He instead played one season of Canadian football for the Stampeders, in which he won the Jeff Nicklin Memorial Trophy as the league's most valuable player. He then signed with the 49ers, and played left halfback in San Francisco's famed "Million Dollar Backfield". He was traded to Detroit in 1957, and became the team's leading rusher en route to that year's NFL championship, their most recent.

His abilities seemingly in decline, Johnson was traded to Pittsburgh in 1960, where he had the most productive years of his career, recording two 1,000-yard rushing seasons. He remains the oldest player to record a 1,000-yard rushing season as well as the oldest to rush for 200 or more yards in a game, each at age 34. A four-time Pro Bowl selection, Johnson ranked third on the NFL's all-time rushing yards list when he retired, but was best remembered by his peers for the mark he left with his blocking. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Henry Johnson And The Harlem Hellfighters I WHO DID WHAT IN WW1?


They served for 191 days under fire, the longest deployment of any American unit during the war, but never lost a foot of ground or had a man taken prisoner. They were officially the 369th infantry regiment, based in Harlem, but they’re known far better by the name the Germans gave them - Hellfighters. I’m Indy Neidell; welcome to a Great War Special Episode about the Harlem Hellfighters. They were originally the 15th infantry regiment of the New York National Guard. This was created before the war by pressure from black communities that wished to serve in the National Guard. When the US joined the war and began sending troops to Europe, the 369th was shipped out December 27, 1917, arriving New Years Day 1918, and joining the 185th infantry brigade in France. They were not given combat training though, but were assigned labor duties like digging latrines, and they experienced a lot of racial harassment from army officials. US Commander General John Pershing “loaned” the 369th to the French 161’s division April 8th, 1918, and it was after that they would earn their combat honors. The unofficial reason for this loan was that some white soldiers refused to serve alongside African-Americans. Actually, the American Expeditionary Force even released a pamphlet, which can only be described as “incredibly racist” to the French Army, called “Secret Information Concerning Black American Troops”, or SICBAT. SICBAT requested that French troops, most of whom did not share the prevalent racist views of their American counterparts, stop treating African-Americans as equals. It warned of their tendency towards rape, claiming, “the black American troops in France have, by themselves, given rise to as many complaints for attempted rape as the rest of the army.” The pamphlet requested that the French not eat with them, shake hands with them, nor commend them too highly, as this would lead to them thinking themselves more important than they were, which could be harmful to American society after the war. The French Army, for its part, just welcomed the reinforcements. In mid-April, they were assigned to 4.5 kilometer stretch of the front in the Argonne, under the command of General Henri Gouraud, with French equipment like rifles and helmets. They still did not receive combat training, though. Interestingly enough, they made up less than 1% of all American troops in Europe at the time, but held 20% of their assigned territory. As I said at the beginning, they served for over 6 months, and they suffered 1,300 casualties, the most of any US Army regiment. Despite their obvious bravery, they weren’t well treated. Combat troops were taken out of the line to serve as orderlies; pay was stopped to nearly the entire regiment, things like that. Even when they left France in early 1919, their regimental band, which I’ll talk about in a minute, wasn’t allowed to play as they marched to the transport ship. In February 1919, the Harlem Hellfighters returned to New York and had a victory parade along 5th Avenue, led by Sgt. Henry Johnson, who I’ll also talk about in a minute. The parade showed that whatever had happened overseas, it was not reflected back home, since it was all-black; the Hellfighters and other African-American regiments were not allowed to participate in the main victory parade, as it was segregated. The French government, though, awarded the Croix de Guerre, its highest military honor, to 170 soldiers of the 369th, including Henry Johnson, for their efforts and achievements during the war. Their motto was “God Damn, Let’s Go”. Johnson had performed some of the most remarkable feats of this, or any other, war in May 1918 when still a Private. On the night of the 14th, he and Private Needham Roberts were on sentry duty. He would later remark that he had thought it was crazy to send untrained men out, but told his Corporal he’d “tackle the job”. Well, the two came under fire from German snipers. Pinned down in their dugout, they lined up a box of grenades in case the Germans raided. Just after 0200, Johnson heard the sound of wire cutters at the perimeter fence and told Roberts to go back and alert the French. Johnson threw a grenade and the Germans answered with grenades and gunfire. Roberts turned back to help Johnson but was hit by grenade shrapnel and badly injured. Johnson got him back to the dugout. They were outnumbered by 20-30 Germans advancing from multiple directions. Johnson ran out of grenades and took a few bullets, but carried on firing his rifle into the darkness. He continued until he accidentally loaded American ammunition into his French rifle, jamming it. The Germans were then on top of him, so he used the rifle as a club until the stock splintered. He took a blow to the head and went down. However, when the Germans tried to capture Roberts he got up again and attacked with his bolo knife, his only remaining weapon. He stabbed one German, killed a Leutnant, took a pistol shot to the arm, and stabbed another German who’d climbed on his back. The Germans then retreated since they’d heard French and American arriving. Johnson reportedly killed 4 Germans and wounded over two dozen; he had sustained 21 wounds. He said later, “there wasn’t anything so fine about it. Just fought for my life. A rabbit would’ve done that.” This earned Johnson the nickname “Black Death” and postwar he would do lecture tours around the states. On the tours he was supposed to talk about racial harmony in the trenches, a big lie. In St. Louis he certainly did not do this, talking instead about the abuse and harassment he and his comrades took. Contrary to what multiple sources claim, he did receive disability pay from the US Government, and also contrary to multiple sources, when he died in 1929, it was from myocarditis and not alcoholism. Henry Johnson was not awarded any medals by his army and his government until long after his death. And as for the regimental marching band. They played to boost morale, and by the end of the war were one of the most famous bands in Europe. In February and March 1918, they traveled thousands of kilometers playing for British, French, and American military and French civilian audiences, introducing early jazz music to Europe. James Reese Europe, the leading figure of the African-American New York music scene of the teens, was the bandleader. His story is tragic, though. He was stabbed by one of his musicians May 9th, 1919 during an argument in a show’s intermission. It was only with a penknife and he and his bandmates thought the wound- in the neck- was superficial. He told the band to finish the set, but the hospital was unable to stop the bleeding, and he died a few hours later. He was the first African-American ever to have a public funeral in New York City. Johnson and Europe are just a couple of the luminaries of the 369th, and there are quite a few more. You are very much encouraged to look up more about them and the Harlem Hellfighters in general to get a better idea of the unit, the men, their service, and the trials they faced because of their skin color, in addition to be front line combat they fought in the war to end all wars. Thank you Jack Salthouse for the research for this episode. If you want to learn more about another American fighter in WW1, you can click right here for our episode about Dan Daly. Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook to learn more about World War 1. See you next time.


Early years

Johnson was born in northeastern Louisiana, at Waterproof in southern Tensas Parish. He played high school football in northern California at Pittsburg High School, and college football at Saint Mary's College of California in Moraga before transferring to Arizona State College in Tempe.[2][3] While at Saint Mary's, sportswriters deemed Johnson "one of the fleetest and finest players on the Pacific Coast."[4] The school dropped its football program after the 1950 season.[5][6]

As a senior at Arizona State in 1952, he played left halfback and was recognized as one of the roughest and hardest runners in the country,[7] and as one of the top defensive players as a safety.[8] He also excelled as a punt returner, and had a two-game stretch in which he returned four punts for touchdowns.[9] Johnson's running abilities made him a standout pro football prospect as a black athlete at a primarily white college.[7]

Professional career

Canadian football

Selected in the second round of the 1953 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers,[10] Johnson instead played one season in Canada with the Calgary Stampeders of the Western Interprovincial Football Union (WIFU) in 1953.[2] Johnson reasoned that Calgary had offered more money, but Steelers owner Art Rooney speculated that Johnson thought it was too cold in Pittsburgh. "He must have thought he was going to some resort up there," joked Rooney.[1] He led the Stampeders in rushing that season with 107 carries for 648 yards, an average of six yards per carry with five touchdowns. In addition, Johnson caught 33 passes for 365 yards and three more touchdowns, returned 47 punts for 386 yards, and had a 104-yard kickoff return touchdown. He also starred on defense and intercepted five passes.[11] He was awarded the Jeff Nicklin Memorial Trophy as the league's most valuable player.[2] Johnson was also a leading WIFU All-Star vote receiver, but because he played both offense and defense so well voters split their votes and he was left off the team's "roster".[12]

American football

San Francisco 49ers

Johnson was signed by the San Francisco 49ers in 1954 as a halfback, where he joined Hugh McElhenny, Y. A. Tittle, and Joe Perry to form the 49ers' famed "Million Dollar Backfield". That year, the 49ers shattered the team record for rushing yards in a season.[13] Johnson finished second in the league in rushing with 681 yards,[14][15] behind only Perry,[16] who picked up the majority of his 1,049 yards behind blocking from Johnson. Johnson scored nine touchdowns, which were the most for a season in his career. He was invited to his first Pro Bowl following the season, joining Tittle and Perry.[17] Johnson earned second-team All-Pro honors from United Press International (UPI) and the New York Daily News.[18]

For the remainder of his time in San Francisco, Johnson was unable to replicate the success of his rookie year, as his production dropped significantly in the following two seasons. He played in seven games in 1955 before suffering a shoulder injury against the Los Angeles Rams,[19] and finished the year with only 19 carries for 69 yards and one touchdown. He was traded to the Detroit Lions following the 1956 season in exchange for fullback Bill Bowman and defensive back Bill Stits.[20]

Detroit Lions

Lions head coach Buddy Parker saw Johnson's value as a blocker and moved him to fullback.[20] In his first season with Detroit in 1957, he led the team in rushing, carrying for 621 yards and five touchdowns.[21] In the 1957 NFL Championship Game, which was won by the Lions 59–14 over the Cleveland Browns, Johnson carried seven times for 34 yards, caught a sixteen-yard pass, and recovered a fumble on defense.[22] Going into the 1958 season, the Lions looked to continue their success, and Johnson was expected to be the team's primary ball carrier.[23] However, Johnson missed several games due to injuries, and the Lions finished with a 4–7–1 record and one of the league's worst rushing offenses.[24]

In 1959, Johnson was suspended indefinitely by the Lions after he missed the team plane back to Detroit following a November 1 blowout loss to the 49ers.[25][26] To that point, the Lions had a 1–5 record, and coach George Wilson used Johnson's suspension as an opportunity to scold the whole team for its lack of "desire."[27] Johnson was ultimately fined $1,000. Wilson took the brunt of the blame for Detroit's struggles in 1958 and 1959, but he questioned the resolve of some of the team's higher-paid players, including Johnson.[28] Following the season, Johnson was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers for two draft picks. "That's all we could get for him," explained Wilson.[29]

Johnson with the Steelers
Johnson with the Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers finally acquired Johnson in 1960, after having lost him to the CFL when they drafted him eight years prior.[10] His career rejuvenated, he had his most productive years as a pro while in Pittsburgh.[30] In his first season with the team, he rushed for 621 yards with a 5.3 yards-per-carry average, which included a career-high 87-yard score against the Philadelphia Eagles. He became the first Steelers player to rush for 1,000 yards in a season when he did so in 1962, and he repeated the feat in 1964.[21] He made three straight Pro Bowl appearances, and was a second-team All-Pro selection by the AP, UPI, and Newspaper Enterprise Association in 1962.[31] As of 2017, he remains the oldest player in NFL history to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing in a season, finishing with 1,048 in 1964, aged 35.[32] In a game that season against the Cleveland Browns, then aged 34, Johnson carried 30 times for 200 yards and scored three touchdowns, out-dueling the great Jim Brown.[33] It was only the ninth 200-yard rushing game in NFL history to that point, and the performance made him the oldest player to reach that mark, a record he still holds.[34] Johnson's effort impressed Steelers president Dan Rooney, who remarked that "he got almost all the yardage by himself."[33] Age and injuries caught up to Johnson in 1965, as he was limited to just three carries for eleven yards.[33]

Houston Oilers and retirement

After playing out his option with the Steelers, in July 1966 Johnson signed as a free agent with the Houston Oilers of the American Football League. He joined the Oilers with the hope of helping the team win an AFL championship.[35] However, the team finished the season last in the Eastern Division with a record of 3–11. Johnson retired after the season at the age of 37. He completed his NFL career having carried 1,571 times for 6,803 yards and 48 touchdowns, and picked up 1,478 yards on 186 pass receptions for seven receiving touchdowns.

Playing style

Equally proficient as both a blocker and runner, Johnson was described as "the perfect NFL fullback".[36] A talented runner, he ran with power both inside and outside the tackles, and he was as fast as McElhenny and Perry.[37] Jim Brown called Johnson the greatest running back he had ever seen.[36] He was also a very skilled safety and linebacker on defense.[1][38][39] During a preseason game in 1955, Johnson hit Chicago Cardinals halfback Charley Trippi so hard that he fractured Trippi's face in multiple places, leaving him with a smashed nose and concussion and all but ended his career.[40][41] "Football was like a combat zone," said Johnson. "I was always told that you carry the impact to the opponent. If you wait for it, the impact will be on you."[40]

Perhaps the most notable aspect of Johnson's game was his blocking abilities, for which he received heavy praise.[1] He took pride in it, saying "It gave me a chance to hit all those people who hit me all the time."[42] Quarterback Bobby Layne, a teammate of Johnson with both the Lions and Steelers, listed Johnson as one of the one of "Pro Football's 11 Meanest Men" in an article for SPORT magazine in 1964. "By 'mean,' I mean vicious, unmanageable, consistently tough," said Layne. "I don't mean dirty."[43] Layne also called Johnson his "bodyguard," saying "Half the good runners will get a passer killed if you keep them around long enough. But a quarterback hits the jackpot when he gets a combination runner-blocker like Johnson."[21]


Upon his retirement, Johnson was ranked fourth on pro football's all-time rushing yards list, behind Jim Brown, Jim Taylor, and his fellow Million Dollar Backfield teammate Perry. As of 2016, he is fourth on the Steelers franchise all-time rushing yards list, behind Franco Harris, Jerome Bettis, and Willie Parker. In 1987, he was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame,[44] and chose Steelers owner Art Rooney as his presenter.[45] Many of his contemporaries felt his induction was belated;[42][1] he had been eligible for induction for the past fifteen years.[46] The 49ers' "Million Dollar Backfield" is currently the only full-house backfield to have all four of its members enshrined in the Hall of Fame.[47] Johnson is a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers Legends team, which honors the franchise's best players pre-1970.[48] He was a charter inductee to the San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame in 2009.[49]

Personal and later life

In November 1955, while on the sick list for the 49ers due to a shoulder injury, Johnson carried two women to safety out of a blazing apartment building in Oakland, California. One of the women was his pregnant wife, Barbara Johnson.[19] The couple divorced in 1959, and a bench warrant was issued for Johnson after he fell $2,360 behind on alimony payments, concurrent with his suspension from the Lions for missing the team plane.[26][25] After retiring as a player, he worked for Columbia Gas and later for Warner Communications. He had aspirations of coaching football, but the opportunity never arose.[36]

Johnson died at age 81 in 2011 in Tracy, California.[21][50] Several days later, it was announced that Johnson and his fellow Million Dollar Backfield teammate, Joe Perry, who died six weeks earlier, would have their brains examined by researchers at Boston University, who were studying head injuries in sports. Both men were suspected of suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a disorder linked to repeated brain trauma. According to his daughter, Johnson could not talk or swallow in the final year of his life and also used a wheelchair. She told the San Francisco Chronicle that she hoped by donating her father's brain, it would "help with a cure."[51]


  1. ^ a b c d e Bouchette, Ed (August 7, 1987). "John Henry was a steel-drivin' man". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 17. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Sell, Jack (December 2, 1953). "Steelers lose No. 2 draft choice to Frisco team". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 20.
  3. ^ "Former Tempe football star scores in Canada". Prescott Evening Courier. Arizona. Associated Press. September 21, 1953. p. 5.
  4. ^ "Border Loop Is Nurturing Two Champs". Prescott Evening Courier. Associated Press. September 10, 1952. p. 1. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  5. ^ "Gaels abandon gridiron sport". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. January 6, 1951. p. 7.
  6. ^ "Gaels bow out of grid picture". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. January 7, 1951. p. 9.
  7. ^ a b McLin, E. H. (October 4, 1952). "The Sports Parade". St. Petersburg Times. p. 21. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  8. ^ "Devils Await Old Adversary". Prescott Evening Courier. Associated Press. November 28, 1952. p. 5. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  9. ^ "San Jose Wary Of Safety Ace". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press. October 1, 1952. p. 29. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  10. ^ a b Jordan, Jimmy (April 12, 1960). "Steelers finally get John Henry Johnson". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 19.
  11. ^ Stamps mourn death of John Henry Johnson. Calgary Stampeders. June 4, 2011. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  12. ^ DeGeer, Vern (November 6, 1953). "Good Morning". The Montreal Gazette. p. 25. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  13. ^ Tameta, Andre (May 22, 2009). "San Francisco's Million Dollar Backfield: The 49ers' Fabulous Foursome". Bleacher Report. Archived from the original on June 9, 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  14. ^ Abrams, Al (April 14, 1960). "John Henry Could Help". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 22. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  15. ^ Corkran, Steve (June 3, 2011). "Former 49ers star John Henry Johnson dies". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  16. ^ "1954 NFL Leaders and Leaderboards". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  17. ^ "Lineups Named For Pro Bowl Today". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Associated Press. January 16, 1955. p. 14. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  18. ^ "1954 NFL All-Pros". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  19. ^ a b "Player Rescues 2 Women In Fire". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press. November 28, 1955. p. 2. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  20. ^ a b Latshaw, Bob (May 15, 1957). "Lions, 49ers Swap 3 Backs". Detroit Free Press. p. 25. Archived from the original on September 28, 2016. Retrieved September 28, 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  21. ^ a b c d Goldstein, Richard (June 5, 2011). "John Henry Johnson Dies at 81; Inspired Fear on the Field". The New York Times. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  22. ^ "Cleveland Browns at Detroit Lions - December 29th, 1957". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  23. ^ "Veteran Performers to Carry Load for Detroit Lions in 1958 Campaign". Ludington Daily News. July 7, 1958. p. 6. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  24. ^ Diles, Dave (August 11, 1959). "Johnson, Rote Are Ifs for Detroit Lions". Prescott Evening Courier. Associated Press. p. 5. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  25. ^ a b "Lions' Fullback Is Suspended". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press. November 2, 1959. p. 15. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  26. ^ a b "Double Trouble For John Henry". Toledo Blade. Associated Press. November 3, 1959. p. 21. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  27. ^ "Lions' back suspended". The Bulletin. United Press International. November 3, 1959. p. 2. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  28. ^ "Wilson Says He's Sick Of Being Fall Guy For Detroit's Pro Lions". Ocala Star-Banner. Associated Press. August 25, 1960. p. 7. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  29. ^ "John Henry Johnson Traded to Pittsburgh". Ukiah Daily Journal. United Press International. April 12, 1960. p. 2. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  30. ^ Wexell, Jim; Mendelson, Abby; Aretha, David (2014). The Steelers Experience: A Year-by-Year Chronicle of the Pittsburgh Steelers (illustrated ed.). MVP Books. p. 58. ISBN 0760345767. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  31. ^ "1962 NFL All-Pros". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  32. ^ Langager, Chad (March 3, 2015). "Best Running Back Seasons By 30+ Year Olds". Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  33. ^ a b c Smizik, Bob (September 6, 1994). "The day John Henry Johnson ran wild". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 6. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  34. ^ "Player Game Finder Query Results". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  35. ^ "John Henry Johnson Signs Contract With Oilers". Park City Daily News. Associated Press. July 17, 1966. p. 12. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  36. ^ a b c Swauger, Kirk (October 14, 1984). "John Henry: The perfect NFL fullback". Beaver County Times. p. C2. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  37. ^ Jacobs, Martin (2005). San Francisco 49ers (illustrated ed.). Arcadia Publishing. p. 53. ISBN 0738529664. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  38. ^ Swauger, Kirk (October 14, 1984). "John Henry: the perfect NFL fullback". Beaver County Times. Pennsylvania. p. C2.
  39. ^ Murray, Jim (February 11, 1970). "Johnson seeks coaching job". Free Lance-Star. Fredericksburg, Virginia. (Los Angeles Times). p. 13.
  40. ^ a b Wexell, Mendelson, & Aretha 2014, p. 62.
  41. ^ "Trippi Badly Hurt; Fear Career Over". St. Petersburg Times. Associated Press. September 16, 1955. p. 12. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  42. ^ a b Cook, Ron (June 27, 1982). "John Henry He's learned how quickly they forget". Beaver County Times. p. C3. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  43. ^ "Night Train, Jimmy Hill, John Henry are 'meanest'". Baltimore Afro-American. October 6, 1964. p. 14. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  44. ^ Melvin, Chuck (August 9, 1987). "Pro football's hall of fame inducts seven". The Day. New London, Connecticut. Associated Press. p. E5.
  45. ^ Bouchette, Ed (August 6, 1987). "Ceremonial chief". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 12.
  46. ^ Players become eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame five years after their final pro season.
  47. ^ "Johnson, member of 49ers' 'Million Dollar Backfield,' dies at 81". National Football League. June 4, 2011. Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  48. ^ "Steelers Announce Legends Team as Part of 75th Season Celebration Twenty-Four Honored as Best Pre-1970's Players in Club History". Pittsburgh Steelers. October 2007. Archived from the original on June 5, 2009. Retrieved September 30, 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  49. ^ "49ers Announce Edward DeBartolo Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame". San Francisco 49ers. May 12, 2009. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  50. ^ Schudel, Matt (June 6, 2011). "John Henry Johnson, punishing NFL fullback of 1950s and '60s, dies at 81". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  51. ^ "Researchers to study 49ers RBs". ESPN. June 9, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2016.

Further reading

  • Sullivan, George (1972). The Great Running Backs. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. pp. 100–106. ISBN 0-399-11026-7.

External links

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