Mar 11, 2010
Pro Football Hall of Famer Merlin Olsen dies at 69 after fight with cancer

Pro Football Hall of Famer Merlin Olsen has died at 69 after a bout with cancer.

Olsen was a Pro Bowler 14 times in a 15-year career.

The Rams announced the sad news on Twitter. Olsen had been fighting mesothelioma.

Olsen was a member of the Rams' "Fearsome Foursome" with Deacon Jones, Roosevelt Grier and Lamar Lundy. Olsen was a defensive tackle who allowed his fellow defenders to pressure quarterbacks.

Olsen had a second career on TV. He was an actor who appeared on Little House on the Prairie and was the lead in Father Murphy. He also was an analyst on NFL games for NBC.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement mourning the passing of Olsen.

Said Goodell:

"Merlin was a larger-than-life person, literally and figuratively, and leaves an enormously positive legacy."
-- Sean Leahy