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Joe Perry, former 49ers fullback and one of the first African-American stars of the National Football League, passed away on Monday from complications of dementia.

New York Times reports:

Perry, who lived in Chandler, Ariz., had been receiving financial assistance under a National Football League benefits plan aiding former players with dementia, his wife said, and his brain will be donated to a Boston University facility researching that issue.

Perry was the first N.F.L. player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in two consecutive seasons in 1953 and ’54, and he was voted to the all-N.F.L. team in both seasons. He was also a three-time Pro Bowl player.


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