Former Baltimore Ravens Owner Art Modell Dies of 'Natural Causes,' Son Says

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    FILE - Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell is seen with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the Ravens beat the New York Giants 34-7 in Super Bowl XXXV in this Jan. 28, 2001 file photo taken in Tampa, Fla. Modell is hospitalized in Baltimore. The team said Wednesday Sept. 5, 2012 the 87-year-old Modell is at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Cleveland television station WKYC reported that Modell's vital organs are failing. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)

    Art Modell, former owner of the Baltimore Ravens, died Thursday morning at a Baltimore hospital.  Modell’s son confirmed the death in statement sent out by the team.

    “Sadly, I can confirm that my father died peacefully of natural causes at four this morning,” former Ravens president David Modell said.  “My brother John Modell and I were with him when he finally rejoined the absolute love of his life, my mother Pat Modell, who passed away last October.”

    Modell, 87, was admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital on Wednesday.  There was no indication of why he was admitted or what led to his death.  The Baltimore Sun reported Modell suffered health problems for years including two heart attacks.

    Art Modell is considered by many to be one of the most important figures in recent NFL history.  He owned the Cleveland Browns for 34 years before moving the team to Baltimore in 1996 and changing the name to the Ravens.  Modell led the team to its only Super Bowl win in 2001. Eventually Modell sold his majority shares.

    Modell drew sharp criticism in Cleveland when he chose to move the team to Baltimore. During his time in Baltimore, he and his family were known as lovers of his new community and for far-reaching philanthropic work and spending..