Sun. May 26th, 2024

jimmy johnson

Former San Francisco 49ers defensive back Jimmy Johnson passed away on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, at the age of 86.

jimmy johnson

Statement from the San Francisco 49ers organization:
“The 49ers family is deeply saddened by the passing of one of the NFL’s all-time greats, Jimmy Johnson. Jimmy embodied the essence of what it meant to be a 49er. He was the ultimate gentleman and will be remembered for his humility, kindness and loveable demeanor. We send our condolences to his wife Gisela and his entire family at this difficult time.”

A Pro Football Hall of Fame selection (1994) and part of the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame inaugural class (2009), Johnson was originally drafted by the 49ers as the sixth overall selection in the 1961 NFL Draft. He played his entire 16-year career in San Francisco where he registered 47 interceptions for 615 yards, including five his rookie year, and two touchdowns. He also started in five postseason contests for the 49ers. Johnson began his 49ers career as a defensive back but was moved to wide receiver during the 1962 season when he caught 34 passes for 627 yards and four touchdowns.

jimmy johnson

His 47 career interceptions and 213 career regular season games are both the second-most in franchise history, while his 16 seasons played with the team are tied for the second-most in franchise history. Johnson was named a Pro Bowler five times (1969-72, 1974) and an All-Pro by the Associated Press on five occasions (First-Team 1970-72; Second-Team 1965-66). He was also named a member of the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team following his Hall of Fame career and was a two-time winner of the prestigious Len Eshmont Award selected by his teammates for his inspirational and courageous play.

Born James Earl Johnson in Dallas, TX on March 31, 1938, Johnson was raised in Kingsburg, CA. He attended the University of California, Los Angeles where he was a two-sport athlete, excelling in both football and track and field. At UCLA, Johnson earned three varsity football letters and was given the team’s Iron Man Award, which was given to the football player who played the most minutes in a season. Johnson was also named an All-American in track and field after winning the NCAA 110-meter hurdles championship. In 1992, he was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.

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