The Pro Football Hall of Fame released the following statement:
“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.”
Dean was drafted by the then San Diego Chargers back in 1975 following a standout career at Louisiana Tech, and quickly became one of the leagues best pass rushers.
Dean received his first Pro Bowl nod in 1979 and earned an All-Pro and Pro Bowl honor in 1908.
Dean joined the San Francisco 49ers in 1981, when the Chargers traded him in exchange for a second round draft pick. Dean was a key component for the Niners in winning Super Bowl XVI, and again in Super Bowl XIX.
Dean retired after the 1985 season, having played 141 games over 11 seasons, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008.