Former Browns owner Art Modell has passed away at the age of 87.
UPDATE (9/6/12, 7:58 AM): Modell passed away at 4:00 AM this morning. A statement was released by one of his sons:
"Sadly, I can confirm that my father died peacefully of natural causes at four this morning," former Ravens president David Modell said in a statement. "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.
The original story from last night, when he was gravely ill, is after the jump.
In a story broken by WKYC's Jim Donovan, former Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell is reportedly near death. "Things have gone very badly, very quickly, and he is gravely ill," said Donovan during Wednesday night's newscast following the league's season opening game.
Donovan asked the question, "how will we choose to remember Modell?" I don't think you need to ask that question. As Donovan said, the move to Baltimore is as painful of a memory as this city has ever experienced. Fans will never forgive or forget what he did, and any soft spot that fans had for him deteriorated decades ago.
The report says that Modell is surrounded by his sons. His son John, who lives in Los Angeles, flew out to Baltimore to be near his bedside. Modell has had heart problems, suffering from congestive heart disease. He also lost his wife, Pat, about a year ago.