BALTIMORE, Maryland — Former Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell has died at the age of 87, Fox 8 Sports anchor John Telich has independently confirmed.
Modell had been hospitalized at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore for a heart ailment, Telich reports. He died Thursday morning.
Modell did not leave Cleveland on good terms. He moved the Browns to Baltimore in 1995. He was owner of the Ravens from 1996 until 2004.
A statement posted on the Baltimore Ravens' website reads:
"Art Modell, whose remarkable 43-year NFL career made him a regular finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, died today of natural causes at Johns Hopkins Hospital at the age of 87."
Modell's son, David, and former Ravens president said the following about his father:
“Sadly, I can confirm that my father died peacefully of natural causes at 4 a.m. this morning. 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.
“’Poppy’ was a special man who was loved by his sons, his daughter-in-law Michel, and his six grandchildren. Moreover, he was adored by the entire Baltimore community for his kindness and generosity. And, he loved Baltimore. He made an important and indelible contribution to the lives of his children, grandchildren and his entire community. We will miss him.”
A spokesperson for the Ravens told Fox 8's John Telich that a funeral service for Modell would likely be held on Tuesday.
Stick with Fox 8 News and FOX8.com for updates on this story as they become available.