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Who is Fred Dean? :49ers’ Hall of Fame pass rusher dies at 68 after coronavirus infection(bio, wiki, age, career, family, legacy)

Hall of Famer, San Francisco 49ers great Fred Dean dies at 68

Fred Dean bio, wiki, age, career, family, early life, death

Pro Football Hall of Famer Fred Dean died late Wednesday night. He was 68. “The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Fred Dean,” Hall of Fame president and CEO David Baker said in a statement. “He exemplified many of the values learned from this great game — commitment, integrity, courage — over the course of his life. Our thoughts and prayers are with Fred’s wife, Pam, and their entire family. We will forever keep his legacy alive to serve as inspiration for future generations.”

“The 49ers family is heartbroken to learn of the passing of one of the game’s all-time greats, Fred Dean,” the 49ers said in a statement. “Fred not only impacted countless opposing quarterbacks throughout his career but also the future of the game of football as one of the NFL’s first true pass-rushing specialists.

“… one of the most feared defenders in the game, he is remembered as a quiet, fun-loving, sincere, country gentleman. Fred’s accolades were numerous, but his love for the game, his teammates, and those close to him are what endeared him to so many.”

Early life

Dean was born in Arcadia, the seat of Bienville Parish in north Louisiana. He grew up 20 miles (32 km) east in Ruston, where he graduated from Ruston High School.

Dean was a standout at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, having spurned an opportunity to play for legendary coach Eddie Robinson at nearby Grambling State University, which at the time was sending African American players to the NFL on a yearly basis. Dean excelled as a defensive tackle for the Bulldogs and was a four-time all-conference selection and two-time conference defensive player of the year in the Southland Conference. He was an All-American as a senior in 1974.

Legacy

Dean’s uniform with the San Francisco 49ers at the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Dean ended his NFL career with 93 unofficial sacks, according to the Professional Football Researchers Association. Dean was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008, when his bust, sculpted by Scott Myers, was unveiled. He was also named to both the Chargers’ 40th and 50th-anniversary teams and inducted into the Chargers Hall of Fame.

Dean was inducted into the Louisiana Tech University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1995. In 2009, Dean was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.

Dean was also a kindred spirit who was beloved by his teammates for his laid back demeanor.

“One of the first times I met Fred, he’s laying on a bench in our weight room smoking a cigarette,” recalled former 49ers center Randy Cross. And I looked down and said, ‘Fred, what are you doing man?’ He said, ‘Well, I was thinking about lifting weights, but I thought I might lie here until I got over it.'”

“James Dean,” added Hall of Fame 49ers safety Ronnie Lott, “wasn’t as cool as Fred Dean”

“He was the strongest opponent I ever faced,” recalled Bengals Hall of Fame offensive lineman Anthony Munoz, via the State Journal-Register.

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