Ex-49ers DE Cleveland Elam dies

Updated: July 18, 2012, 8:02 PM ET
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- Former 49ers defensive end Cleveland Elam, a two-time Pro Bowl selection who had a team-high 17.5 sacks in 1976, has died. He was 60.

Elam died last Thursday. The team confirmed his death Wednesday.

The 49ers drafted Elam in the fourth round of the 1975 NFL draft and he contributed immediately as a member of the 49ers Gold Rush defensive line, which led the NFL in sacks during the 1976 season.

He went to the Pro Bowl in 1976 and 1977 and was a first-team All-Pro in 1977. Injuries cut short his career in 1979.

Elam is survived by his wife, Blanche, and their four children. A memorial service is scheduled at Gethsemane Baptist Church in Salisbury, N.C., on July 21.


Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press