Ravens senior vice president of public and community relations Kevin Byrne did not know Modell’s condition, but Cleveland television station WKYC reported that the 87-year-old’s vital organs were failing.
Modell purchased the Cleveland Browns for $4 million in 1961 and moved the franchise to Baltimore in 1996. The relocation made one of the NFL’s most influential figures a hero in Baltimore but a pariah in Cleveland.
He sold a minority interest in the team to Steve Bisciotti in 2000, and in April 2004, Bisciotti completed purchase of the franchise. But Modell retained a 1 percent piece of the team and is listed in the current Ravens media guide as a minority owner.
During his days as sole owner of the team, Modell served as NFL president from 1967-69, chaired negotiations for the first collective bargaining agreement with the players in 1968 and was a key figure in getting NFL games televised on Monday nights.
His wife of 42 years, Patricia, died in 2011.
By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Contributions to the Communities Sports desk from readers.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention
California wildfires wreak havoc