I called Keith Fahnhorst 10 days before he died to ask about Dwight Clark.
Clark had died that afternoon from ALS, and I wanted to interview one of his teammates for an article. Lowell Cohn, my dad, who covered Clark’s entire career, suggested I call Fahnhorst, whom, he said, was a fine man.
I had never met or spoken to Fahnhorst, but my dad and he knew each other and my dad thought the world of him. Fahnhorst played for the 49ers from 1974 to 1987, started 193 games at right tackle and won two Super Bowls. He is one of the best offensive linemen in franchise history. Recently, he suffered from polycystic kidney disease, although it’s unknown if that caused his death. He was 66 when he died.
As a player, Fahnhorst was the go-to guy in the locker room for the media after games. My dad said Fahnhorst had an overview of what happened, was perceptive, generous with the press, but never betrayed a player.
I didn’t have his phone number, and neither did my dad. On a whim, I searched Fahnhorst’s name in the white pages.
He was listed.
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