David Modell, former Ravens president, dies of cancer

Posted at 2:04 PM, Jan 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-13 17:51:41-05

David Modell who served as president of the Baltimore Ravens from the team's inception in 1996 through 2004, passed away Friday. 

He battled cancer for nearly two years, according to a press release from the Ravens. 

Modell, 55, oversaw the selection of the team name and colors, the move to M&T Bank Stadium in 1998 and the hiring of Brian Billick.

In recent years, Modell helped direct Modell Ventures and served as chairman of 3ality Digital, a company that produces and provides 3D entertainment solutions. He also served as executive producer for the U2 3D concert movie, which showcased U2’s performances through South America and Australia during the 2006 Vertigo Tour.

He is survived by his wife Michel and six children: Daughters Breslin and Collier and sons Arthur and David Jr. from his first marriage, and 2-year-old twins, Fee and Bertie, from his marriage to Michel.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh recalled Modell as someone who was "welcoming, accepting  and encouraging."

"We became good friends, and I loved his enthusiasm, his spirit, his depth and his humor. His upbeat and positive way was always helpful. And, his superstitions helped, too," Harbaugh said in a statement. "We had a secret handshake and hug every Thursday in our weight room during our Super Bowl season. His wife Michel has been so strong through all of this, and our prayers and thoughts are with her and the twins. May God bless them.”

Owner Steve Bisciotti said "much of what the Ravens are today can be traced to David and what he directed and established."

"But, above all, he was a sweet, kind man who helped me when I was first involved. I smile remembering what we shared and what my friend David offered. He was fun, smart and giving. Renee and I send our love and prayers to Michel and all of his children," Bisciotti said in a statement. 

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