L.C. Greenwood dies at 67

PITTSBURGH -- L.C. Greenwood, who helped the Pittsburgh Steelers win four Super Bowl titles in the 1970s and was a member of the famed "Steel Curtain" defensive line, died of natural causes Sunday at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital.

He was 67.

Greenwood is second on the Steelers' all-time sacks list (73.5), made four Pro Bowls, and was a two-time first-team All-Pro selection during a career that spanned from 1969-1981. He had four sacks in the Steelers' 21-17 win against the Cowboys in Super Bowl X.

His death leaves Joe Greene as the lone surviving member of the "Steel Curtain," which also included Dwight White and Ernie Holmes.

"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," Steelers president Art Rooney II and chairman emeritus Dan Rooney said in a joint statement released by the team Sunday.

"He will be forever remembered for what he meant to the Steelers both on and off the field."

A 10th-round draft pick out of Arkansas AM&N (now Arkansas Pine-Bluff) in 1969, Greenwood is one of a number of small-school prospects who rose to prominence while helping the Steelers go from perennial also-rans to world champions. Four players from that defense and nine players from those teams, as well as coach Chuck Noll, are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Greenwood has long been prominent on the list of players that had Hall of Fame credentials but never made it to Canton, Ohio.

Hall of Fame cornerback Mel Blount said recently that Greenwood is among a handful of Steelers from the 1970s teams who should be in the Hall of Fame.

"Why is Larry Brown not in there? Why is L.C Greenwood not in there," Blount said. "I think once they get so many in they start saying, 'Well, we've got enough Steelers.' "

Knee problems forced Greenwood to retire before the 1982 season. His 13 years in Pittsburgh are tied for the third-longest tenure with the team in franchise history.

Greenwood remained in Pittsburgh after his retirement, working as an entrepreneur and a motivational speaker.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.