Sad news from the 49ers family. The team announced that former offensive tackle Len Rohde has passed away at the age of 79. The 49ers drafted Rohde in the fifth round of the 1960 NFL draft, and he spent his entire 15-season career with the team. He played in all 208 straight games during that time, starting 173 of them.
There are a couple articles out about Rohde, but I wanted to also link to a couple older articles that are pretty cool
- Dan Brown - San Jose Mercury News (2013)
- 49ers.com (2008)
- Matt Maiocco - CSN Bay Area
- Eric Branch (San Francisco Chronicle)
The 49ers PR department put together this obituary on the life of Rohde.
A 1971 Pro Bowl selection and 1974 Len Eshmont Award winner, Rohde was part of an offensive line that helped QB John Brodie register a 9.14 yards per pass attempt average in 1961, the highest average yards per pass attempt in team history. Additionally, the 49ers registered 27 rushing touchdowns that season, tied for the most in the league and the second-highest single-season total in franchise history. During his 15-year career, Rohde helped block for backs Joe Perry, Ken Willard, J.D. Smith and Hugh McElhenny, each of whom ranks in the top-10 on the 49ers all-time rushing list.
A native of Palatine, IL, Rohde attended Utah State where he was a three-year regular. As a senior, he was named a team captain, team MVP and earned All-Conference honors. In 1969, Rohde completed his master’s degree at San Jose State University. Following his playing days, Rohde became involved in the restaurant industry. In addition, he was also part of three generations of farmers who produced Templeton Olive Oil.