Frank Ryan, QB of the Browns’ last championship team, has died at 87

Frank Ryan, former NFL Champion quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, died on Monday in a nursing home in Connecticut. Ryan was 87 years old and suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.

In a statement from the Ryan family, they believed Ryan suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). His family donated his brain to Boston University’s CTE Center. 

Ryan was known for his talents on the field and his intellect off of the gridiron. In the 1964 Championship game, Ryan threw three touchdown passes as the Browns dominated the Baltimore Colts. Half a year later, Ryan was awarded a doctorate in mathematics from Rice University. Ryan taught at Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve University) during the offseason while he played with the Browns.

Ryan played seven seasons for the Cleveland Browns before injuries ended his career short. He made three Pro Bowls during that time. He threw for over 13,000 yards, and 134 touchdowns during his tenure. His 29 touchdown passes in the 1966 season still rank second in franchise history. Ryan is one of the best quarterbacks in Cleveland Browns history.

Ryan is survived by his wife Joan Ryan, a former columnist for The Cleveland Plain Dealer; and four sons Frank Jr., Stuart, and Heberden.

Story originally appeared on Browns Wire