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David Modell (1960 - 2017)

AP Photo / Denis Poroy

David Modell (1960 - 2017)

David Modell, a former president of the Baltimore Ravens football team, died Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, after a lengthy battle with lung cancer, according to multiple news sources. He was 55.

The son of former Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell, he served as the team’s president from 1996 to 2004, when the team was sold to a new ownership group led by Steve Biscotti. The younger Modell oversaw the negotiations of player contracts as well as running other aspects of the team’s business. He also influenced the decision to hire coach Brian Billick, who led the Ravens to a Super Bowl victory in 2000.


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Born Aug. 16, 1960, to actress Patricia Breslin, he and his brother, John, were adopted by Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell after he married their mother in 1969. David began working on game days for the Browns at age 14. He would go on to serve in the team’s ticket office and public relations department; he later started the first team marketing division in the NFL.

Following the contentious relocation of the franchise from Cleveland, Ohio, to Baltimore, Maryland, Modell was instrumental in the selection of the team’s name and colors. He strove to make the Ravens a winning team as well as a model business.

“We aspire to be the best business organization. We want to set the standard on and off the field,” he declared after being named team president.

After the sale of the Ravens, he became involved in a new business, 3ality Digital, focusing on the 3-D image capture of entertainment like sporting events.

Modell is survived by his wife, Michel, and six children.

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