Pete Brown, a co-founder of the Cincinnati Bengals and the team’s senior vice president of player personnel, died Tuesday at age 74.
Pete, his father Paul, and brother Mike were awarded the Cincinnati franchise of the American Football League in 1967. Paul Brown was founder/head coach of the Cleveland Browns and was fired in 1963, the by-product of a highly publicized power struggle with owner Art Modell despite winning four championships in the All-American Football Conference and three NFL Championships.
Pete Brown, unlike his Hall of Fame father and bombastic brother, preferred to stay behind the scenes and never gave interviews. He was part of the Bengals’ player personnel department since the team was founded and was second only to his brother Mike in the team’s hierarchy.
Pete Brown played football collegiately at Dennison University and was an advocate of strength training. He and former Bengals strength coach Kim Wood were the founders of Hammer Strength which, according to its website, “has been building athletes for more than 25 years…not just elite athletes, but those with the focus and determination to want to train like one.”
Mike Brown assumed ownership of the Bengals after his father’s death in 1991. He released a statement on the death of his brother.
“Pete was the quiet one, but his talents spoke volumes,” the statement read. “Pete was more prone to action than talk, and his contributions to the Bengals were significant. He was a fine scout and judge of prospects, a wonderful business partner, and an even better brother and family member. Everyone who knew Pete cared about him and respected him. I feel his loss deeply.”
Mike Brown, 82, is the last surviving son of Paul Brown. Robin Brown, the youngest son who was also a Bengals scout, died of cancer at age 46 in 1978. Funeral services will be private and the Bengals released no other details about Pete Brown’s death.