ARTHUR B. MODELL, who died in 2012, was known as a bold, competitive, compassionate entrepreneur. He purchased the Cleveland Browns in 1961, and six years later became the only elected NFL president in the league’s history. In 1968 as chairman of the Owner’s Labor Committee, Mr. Modell successfully negotiated the NFL’s first players’ collective bargaining agreement. He also served on the NFL-AFL Merger Committee, breaking the impasse for realignment of the two leagues by moving the Browns to the AFL. Together with Pete Rozelle, he established NFL Films. But he may be most noted for his tenure as the NFL’s broadcast chairman. The contracts he negotiated over a 31-year period (1962-93) set the standard for sports television.
A graduate of the College of New Rochelle, PATRICIA B. MODELL had a successful acting career spanning television, film, and the Broadway stage. She died in 2011.
Mr. Modell served on the Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute’s Board of Governors, and was a Johns Hopkins Medicine Trustee from 2004-2006. (Photograph of the Modells was taken by Matthew Girard.)