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Art Modell

American businessman

Died when: 87 years 75 days
Star Sign: Cancer

 

Art Modell Arthur Bertram "Art" Modell (June 23, 1925 – September 6, 2012) was an American businessman, entrepreneur and National Football League (NFL) team owner. He owned the Cleveland Browns franchise for 35 years and established the Baltimore Ravens franchise, which he owned for nine years. Assuming control of the Browns franchise in 1961, Modell was a key figure in helping promote the NFL and was initially popular in Cleveland for his active role in the community and his efforts to improve the team. However, he made controversial actions during his ownership, which included the firing of Paul Brown, the franchise's first coach and namesake. In 1995, Modell faced widespread scorn in Cleveland when he attempted to relocate the Browns to Baltimore. While the Browns' namesake was ultimately able to remain in Cleveland, Modell retained the contracts of all Browns personnel and moved the franchise to Baltimore, forming the Ravens in 1996 as a nominal expansion team. Praised in Baltimore for returning football to the city after the departure of the Colts, Modell remains a controversial figure in Cleveland due to the relocation and, in particular, for his decision-making around the management of Cleveland Stadium and the construction of a replacement.
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