Son: QB's problem similar to John Ritter's

Updated: December 18, 2003, 7:36 PM ET
Associated Press

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Hall of Fame Cleveland Browns quarterback Otto Graham has died, the team announced Wednesday evening.

Graham had been rushed to a hospital earlier Wednesday with a heart problem his son said was the same condition that killed actor John Ritter in September.

The condition, called an aortic dissection, is a break in the main artery that carries blood from the heart.

Duey Graham said his father, who celebrated his 82nd birthday on Dec. 6, was taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

"The family is with him," Duey Graham said at the time.

Graham won seven championships in his 10 seasons, including every title in the four-year history of the All-America Football Conference from 1946 to 1949.

A two-sport star at Northwestern, Graham played one season of pro basketball and helped the Rochester Royals, also featuring Red Holzman and Chuck Connors, win the 1946 NBL championship.

With the Browns, he threw for 23,584 yards and 174 touchdowns while guiding Cleveland to a 105-17-4 regular-season record, including 58-13-1 in the NFL.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press