L.C. Greenwood, Part Of Pittsburgh's 'Steel Curtain,' Dies

NPR | Sept. 30, 2013 10 a.m.

Contributed By:

Mark Memmott

Former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman L.C. Greenwood waving to fans in 2006. He died Sunday at the age of 67.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman L.C. Greenwood waving to fans in 2006. He died Sunday at the age of 67.

UPI /Landov, Stephen M. Gross

The death Sunday of L.C. Greenwood means just one member of one of the National Football League’s greatest defensive lines is still with us.

Greenwood, 67, died of kidney failure at Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, the city’s Post-Gazette reports.

Greenwood, “Mean” Joe Greene, Dwight White and Ernie Holmes formed the front line for what became known as the “Steel Curtin” defense during the Pittsburgh Steelers’ glory years in the 1970s. The team won four Super Bowl titles in six years.

Holmes was killed in a January 2008 car crash. White died in June 2008 at the age of 58. He “suffered a pulmonary embolism after routine back surgery,” according to the Pittsburgh Tribune. Greene turned 67 last week. He was a Steelers special assistant for pro and college personnel until May of this year.

“L.C. was one of the most beloved Steelers during the most successful period in team history and he will be missed by the entire organization,” team Chairman Dan Rooney and President Art Rooney II say in a statement. “He will be forever remembered for what he meant to the Steelers both on and off the field.”

As NFL.com notes, “Greenwood was a six-time Pro Bowl pick and two-time All-Pro during his career from 1969 to 1981, and he was honored on the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1970s.”

The Post-Gazette adds that “nicknamed ‘Hollywood Bags’ and known for wearing golden shoes, Mr. Greenwood quickly established himself with the Steelers [after being drafted in 1969]. In 1971, he had five fumble recoveries, which tied for the NFL lead. In 1974, he posted a career-high 11 sacks.”

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