The San Francisco 49ers family lost another member last week on July 12 with former defensive end Cleveland Elam passing away at the age of 60. Elam was part of the 49ers Gold Rush defensive line in 1976 which led the NFL in sacks. He recorded 17.5 sacks that season.
Elam was a two-time Pro Bowl selection in 1976 and 1977 and a first-team All-Pro in 1977. After only five seasons in the NFL he retired because of injuries. Here is a bio from 49ers.com:
A native of Memphis, TN, Elam attended Tennessee State University in Nashville, where he was a 1974 Pittsburgh Courier All-America selection. His junior year, Elam and Tennessee State went 10-0 and captured the Black College National Championship. He was drafted by the 49ers in the 4th round (85th overall) of the 1975 NFL Draft. Elam produced immediately as a member of the 49ers Gold Rush defensive line which led the NFL in sacks during the 1976 season. Elam had a team high, 17.5 sacks the following season. He was twice voted to the Pro Bowl in 1976 and 1977, as well as named First-Team All-Pro in 1977. His career was cut short in 1979 due to injuries. Last season during the 49ers alumni weekend in the Bay Area, Elam was honored for his time with the team.