Former Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell has passed away at the age of 87.
Model purchased the Browns in 1961 for $4 million dollars. He is perhaps most remembered for moving the Browns to Baltimore. The city of Cleveland sued the Browns for breaking their stadium lease. Eventually the two sides compromised. Modell left behind the Browns name, records and heritage and took the organization and players to Baltimore. The Browns were deactivated for three year and the city built a new stadium, courtesy of a loan from the NFL. The new Browns resumed play in 1999.
In 2001, the Ravens defeated the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV.
Following the return of the Browns, Modell reportedly would not travel to Cleveland for games for fear his life could be in danger. The city’s vitriol for Modell earned him the moniker “The Most Hated Man in Cleveland.”
Modell sold controlling interest in the Ravens to Steve Bisciotti in 2004.
Modell married his wife, former actress Patricia Breslin, in 1969. She passed away in 2011.
Modell is survived by Breslin’s two sons John and David Jr., whom he adopted and six grandchildren.