SAN FRANCISCO—Fred Dean, a football pass rusher who helped the San Francisco 49ers win two Super Bowl victories, passed away on October 14 due to the coronavirus. He was 68 years old. On October 8, Dwight Hicks, Fred Dean’s former teammate, announced in a Facebook post that Dean had been hospitalized in intensive care while battling COVID-19.
On October 14, the Pro Football Hall of Fame confirmed Dean’s death. The original statement read:
“The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Fred Dean. He exemplified many of the values earned 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. The Hall of Fame flag will be flown at half-staff in Fred’s memory.”
Dean was born on February 24, 2952 in Arcadia, Louisiana. Over the span of his career, Dean was named as a four-time Pro Bowler, two-time All-Pro, and two-time Super Bowl champion. In 1975, Dean played for the San Diego Chargers after he was selected in the 1975 NFL Draft. In 1979 and 1980, the San Diego Chargers claimed two consecutive AFC Western Division Championships. In 1981 Dean transferred to the San Francisco 49ers after a contract dispute, but in his Enshrinement speech, Dean said he considered himself “born with the Chargers” but “having a renewal life with the 49ers.”
In 1986, Dean played one last season with the 49ers before retiring. In 1990 he was inducted into the Louisiana Tech Athletic Hall of Fame, and in 2009, he was inducted into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame.