Hall of Fame running back Joe Perry passed away this morning in Chandler, Arizona. He was 84 years old. Perry was well known as an extremely quick runner who earned the nickname “The Jet” during his 16-year career with the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Colts. He was the first player to rush for 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons and at one point was the NFL’s all-time leading rusher.
“All of us here at the Pro Football Hall of Fame are extremely saddened to learn of the passing of the great Joe Perry,” commented Pro Football Hall of Fame President/Executive Director Steve Perry. “Joe was not only a key figure in the history of professional football, but he was a great friend to us here at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was a frequent visitor to Canton for our annual Enshrinement ceremony as well as many other Pro Football Hall of Fame events. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his wife Donna and the entire Perry family.”
Perry began his professional career following World War II military service in the Navy as an undrafted free-agent with the San Francisco 49ers of the All-America Football Conference in 1948 and quickly made a name for himself his rookie year when he gained 562 yards rushing and 10 TDs with an eye-popping 7.3 yards per carry average.