Steelers' Dwight White dies at 58
He died at a Pittsburgh hospital, the team said Friday. The cause was not disclosed.
White is the second member of the original four-man Steel Curtain to die this year. Defensive tackle Ernie Holmes died Jan. 17 in a car accident in Texas.
White, a two-time Pro Bowl player, was chosen as one of the 33 members of the Steelers' 75th anniversary all-time team last season.
White was best known for climbing out of a hospital bed to play in the Steelers' first Super Bowl victory, 16-6 over the Minnesota Vikings in 1976. White lost 18 pounds after being diagnosed with pneumonia and a lung infection, yet played nearly the entire game.
White made three tackles for no yards as the Vikings ran seven of their first eight running plays his way and went on to finish with only 17 yards rushing on 21 attempts. White also accounted for the only points of the first half when he sacked Fran Tarkenton in the end zone for a safety.
White, a former player at East Texas State (now Texas A&M-Commerce), gained his nickname because of his intensity. He often said that playing on the defensive line was like having "a dog's life."
Steelers chairman Dan Rooney said that inner drive was the reason the 6-foot-4, 250-pounder could play so well only hours after being hospitalized.
"He played with a relentlessness that led us to four Super Bowl titles in the 1970s," Rooney said in a statement. "Dwight refused to be denied, as was evidenced when he walked out of the hospital with pneumonia to play in Super Bowl IX and had an outstanding game. Dwight will be remembered by those who knew him even more for being a wonderful and caring person."