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Art Modell (1925 - 2012)

ART MODELL LIFETIME HIGHLIGHTS

1943: Joined the United States Air Force

1940s-50s: Worked in the advertising and public relations businesses and television production in New York City

1961: Purchased the Cleveland Browns for an unprecedented price of $4 million

1962: Served as the NFL's broadcast chairman, helping to negotiate the league's increasingly lucrative contracts over a 31-year period (1962-93) that set the standard for sports television

1964: Browns finish 10-3-1 and win NFL Championship Game, defeating the heavily favored Baltimore Colts, 27-0 at Cleveland Municipal Stadium

1964: Worked closely with then-Commissioner Pete Rozelle to establish NFL Films and became its first chairman

1967-69: Served as NFL president -- the only elected NFL president in league history

1968: Chairman of the Owners Labor Committee, which successfully negotiated the NFL's first players' collective bargaining agreement

1969: Married TV soap opera star Patricia Breslin

1970: Served on the NFL-AFL Merger Committee, breaking the impasse for realignment of the two leagues by moving the Browns to the AFC

1970: Was an important negotiator with ABC to launch Monday Night Football and volunteered to host the first game in Cleveland

1996: Relocated his franchise from Cleveland to Baltimore, renaming it so a future Cleveland team could keep the historic Browns name, the team's colors (orange and brown) and the rich and storied 49-year history

2000: Ravens win the AFC Wild Card with a 12-4 record and go on to win Super Bowl XXXV, 34-7, over the Giants, bringing Baltimore its first Super Bowl Championship since 1971 (Colts, Super Bowl V)

2001: Was one of 15 finalists for the Canton NFL Hall of Fame in 2001 and a semifinalist for the classes of 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011

2004: Sold the controlling interests of the Ravens to Steve Bisciotti, but remained a minority owner

2008: Inducted into the Baltimore Hall of Fame and honored with a plaque at the Sports Legends Museum in downtown Baltimore

During Modell's 35 seasons as team owner, the Browns qualified for the postseason 17 times, winning 11 division titles and the NFL championship in 1964. The team's overall regular season record during Modell's tenure was 252-233-10 (winning percentage .507), and its post-season record was 7-14 (.333).

In his eight seasons as majority owner, the Ravens qualified for the postseason 3 times, winning 1 division title (2003) and Super Bowl XXXV in 2000. The team's overall regular season record during Modell's tenure was 72-63 (winning percentage .533), and its postseason record was 5-2 (.714).

In his 43 seasons of full ownership of the Browns and the Ravens, more than half of Art's teams were in the playoffs. Modell won two NFL championships (1964 and 2000). Three other teams (1965, 1968 and 1969) played in NFL title games, and three more teams (1986, 1987 and 1989) lost memorable AFC Championship battles. Ten other teams earned playoff berths.

ART MODELL PHILANTHROPIC EFFORTS

Modell and his wife Pat gave their time, leadership and financial support to numerous local and national charities in addition to several cultural institutions. The couple generously contributed major gifts to over 20 organizations, including:

  • The Johns Hopkins Heart Institute
  • The SEED School of Maryland
  • Kennedy Krieger Institute
  • Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
  • Baltimore Museum of Art
  • Walters Art Museum
  • St. Vincent's Center, a home for abused children
  • House Of Ruth
  • United Way of Central MD
  • Archdiocese of Baltimore
  • Partners in Excellence Program
  • The Baltimore Basilica

While living in Cleveland, Modell and his wife started and funded the Hospice of the Western Reserve in Cleveland

In 2007, the Modells pledged $5 million to help start a public boarding school, The SEED School, for disadvantaged youth

Modell has received numerous awards and honors, including the Generous Heart Award from the Dr. Ben Carson Scholarship Foundation, given annually for excellence in the community.

Art and Pat Modell were named the 2009 Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year for their work and donations by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in Maryland

The Modells contributed $3.5 million to the Lyric Opera House, which was later renamed the Patricia and Arthur Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric in 2010