Pro Football Hall of Fame running back
John Henry Johnson, 81, a Pro Football Hall of Fame running back during the 1950s and '60s who was a member of the
' "Million Dollar Backfield," died Friday in Tracy, Calif., the team announced. No cause was given, but the San Francisco Chronicle reported in 2002 that Johnson had Alzheimer's disease.
Johnson, 6 feet 2 and 210 pounds, played for the 49ers from 1954 to '56 and teamed with fellow Hall of Fame members fullback
Johnson was inducted into the
"As a member of the 'Million Dollar Backfield,' he holds a cherished place in both 49ers and
history," 49ers owner John York said in a statement. "His contributions to the game of football will be forever celebrated."
Drafted in the second round by the
in 1953, Johnson played one season in the Canadian Football League before joining San Francisco.
Johnson also played for the
from 1957-59, the Steelers from 1960-65 and American Football League's Houston Oilers in 1966. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards in two of his seasons with Pittsburgh (1962 and '64) and was selected to the
Johnson was born Nov. 24, 1929, in Waterproof, La. He was a high school star in football, basketball and track in Pittsburg, Calif., and played at St. Mary's College in Moraga, Calif., and at Arizona State.