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Former NFL great Marshall Goldberg dead at 88

CHICAGO (April 5, 2006) -- Marshall Goldberg, an All-America running back at the University of Pittsburgh and key contributor to the Chicago Cardinals' 1947 NFL championship, has died. He was 88.

Goldberg died Monday at a Chicago nursing home after spending several years battling the effects of brain injuries caused by numerous concussions during his playing days, his wife, Rita Goldberg, said.

Goldberg was a member of Pitt's "Dream Backfield" while leading the school to a national championship in 1937 under coach Jock Sutherland.

He was runner up for the Heisman Trophy in 1938 and amassed 1,957 rushing yards while at Pitt, a school record that stood until Tony Dorsett broke it in 1974. He was named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1958.

"Marshall Goldberg set a timeless example of the student-athlete ideal," Pitt athletic director Jeff Long said in a statement. Pitt football coach Dave Wannstedt called Goldberg "one of the crown jewels of both Pitt and college football."

Goldberg was a six-time All-Pro defensive back for the Chicago Cardinals during the 1940s. His interception against the Philadelphia Eagles clinched the NFL championship game in 1947.

His pro career was interrupted by a three-year stint as a line officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II, according to Pitt.

A native of Elkins, W.Va., Goldberg settled in Chicago after his football career and spent decades as the owner of a machine tool company in suburban Chicago, his wife said.

Goldberg is survived by his wife, a son, Marshall, a daughter, Ellen Tullos, two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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