Hall of Fame fullback Joe Perry, the first football player to achieve back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons and nicknamed “The Jet” for his amazing speed, died Monday at the age of 84.
The San Francisco 49ers announced that Perry passed away in Arizona due to complications from dementia.
Perry was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1969 following a 16-year NFL career, 14 years with the 49ers and the other two for the Baltimore Colts.
He led the 49ers in rushing on eight occasions, including seven consecutive seasons from 1949-1955.
“I was deeply saddened to hear of Joe Perry’s passing earlier today,” 49ers owner John York said. “He was a dear friend to my family and me and to the entire 49ers organization. He was also an intricate part of our rich history. A truly remarkable man both on and off the field, Joe had a lasting impact on the game of football and was an inspirational man to the generations of players that followed him. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to his wife, Donna, and his entire family. He will be sadly missed by all of us.”
Perry finished with 9,723 yards rushing on 1,929 carries with 71 touchdowns in 181 career games. He also had 2,021 yards receiving on 260 catches for 12 touchdowns. He broke the NFL record for most career yards rushing, a total that was later topped by Jim Brown.
R.I.P. to a gridiron legend.