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(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) – Former Pittsburgh Steelers center and coach Chuck Cherundolo has died in Florida at the age of 96.

Cherundolo died of heart failure on Dec. 22 in Lakeland, his daughter said Saturday.

Cherundolo played for the Steelers in the 1940s, taking a break to serve in the Navy during World War II. In 2007, the Steelers named him to their legends team, representing the franchise’s best players through 1970.

Cherundolo was born in Old Forge, Pa. He played football at Penn State University before beginning his professional career with the Cleveland Rams. He played for the Philadelphia Eagles for one season before joining the Steelers.

Cherundolo also coached in the NFL through the 1970s.

His daughter says he was amazed by improvements in safety gear and players’ salaries over the years.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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