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John Henry Johnson dies at 81

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The former running back and Pro Football Hall of Famer was the first Pittsburgh Steelers player to rush for 1,000 yards in a season and is the fourth-leading rusher in franchise history.

Former Steelers Hall of Fame running back John Henry Johnson, who made four Pro Bowl teams during his 14-year pro career, died Friday at the age of 81.

Johnson played for the Steelers from 1960-66, where he rushed for 4,381 yards and 26 touchdowns – still fourth in franchise history. Johnson was the first Steelers running back to reach the 1,000-yard mark in a season in 1962, and he reached it again in 1964. He was also a very good receiving back, amassing 1,478 receiving yards in his career. When Johnson retired after the 1966 season, he was fourth all-time in rushing behind only Jim Brown, Jim Taylor, and Joe Perry with his 6,803 rushing yards.

Johnson started his NFL career for the San Franchsco 49ers in the “Million-Dollar Backfield” with Hugh McElhenny, Y.A. Tittle, and Joe Perry. All four of these players are now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.

He was then traded to Detroit before being traded to the Steelers in 1960, where he had his finest seasons.

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