NFL Legend Dies at 87

NFL Legend Dies at 87

( – On January 1, Frank Ryan, a Pro Bowl quarterback, died, according to the family. He was the final quarterback who led the Cleveland Browns to their 1964 NFL championship. Ryan was 87 years old.

His son, Frank Ryan Jr., informed the media that Ryan died at a Waterford, Connecticut, care facility after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is believed by the family to have contributed to the worsening of the condition. The Boston University CTE Center will use Ryan’s brain as part of their research. Apparently, he knew that playing football might put him at risk of CTE and concussions.

In a Twitter post, the Browns expressed their condolences to Ryan’s loved ones as they remembered the life of a franchise legend and champion quarterback.

Ryan was at his most productive in Cleveland. He was a candidate for the United Press International NFL MVP award in 1965 and was named to the Pro Bowl three times.

With Ryan at the helm, the Browns won their fourth NFL title in 1964. In a 27-0 upset of the strongly favored Baltimore Colts and Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas, he completed three passes for touchdowns to Gary Collins, their wide receiver. With 2,404 passing yards and 25 touchdown passes, he was the NFL leader. After that, in 1965, Ryan passed for 18 touchdowns, and in 1966, he threw for 29.

He was a Browns player through 1968 before spending 1969–1970 on the Washington Redskins’ reserve.

Ryan was a starting quarterback for 57 games throughout his 13-year career, throwing 149 touchdowns and a total of 16,042 yards.

He returned to Rice to get his Ph.D. when Ryan’s career came to an end. He taught mathematics at Case Western Reserve, Yale, and Rice. He also played a part in creating an electronic system for voting that aided in the modernization of the United States House of Representatives.

Ryan and Joan, his wife, celebrated their 65-year wedding anniversary last year.

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