Hall of Fame offensive lineman Mike McCormack, who helped build the Browns into champions and bring the Panthers to existence, died this morning at the age of 83.
The Panthers confirmed the news this afternoon.
McCormack was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1984 after his career with the Browns, for which coach Paul Brown called him “the finest offensive lineman I have ever coached.” Teaming with Otto Graham, he helped the Browns win two championships and was named to the NFL’s 75th anniversary all-time team.
But his impact on the Panthers might have been even greater. He served as a consultant to owner Jerry Richardson through the expansion process, and was then named the team’s first president.
“It is safe to say that we would probably not have a team in the Carolinas if it were not for Mike McCormack,” Richardson said in a statement. “He had the contacts in the National Football League and was universally respected by everyone associated with professional football. He was a wonderful man and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Ann, and the entire McCormack family.”
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