Orlando Brown Biography
Claim to Fame: NFL player (Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens)
DOB: December 12, 1970
Date of Death: September 23, 2011
Diabetes Type: Unknown
Orlando Brown was an offensive tackle for the National Football League, having played for both the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns. Known to his teammates and coaches as "Zeus," Brown was a definite colossus on the field, standing 6 ft 7in and weighing in at 360 lbs. This titan played a total of ten NFL seasons, four with Cleveland and six with Baltimore.
Born in Washington, D.C., in 1970, Brown played football for H.D. Woodson Senior High School. Upon graduation, Brown went on to attend Southern Carolina State University where he played offensive tackle for the Bulldogs. In 1993, Brown began his career on the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent. After playing for three years, the team moved to Baltimore to become the Ravens. Brown, unlike many of his teammates, made the move to Baltimore. In 1999, the team again split and Brown returned to the re-formed Cleveland Browns.
In 2000, in a game between Cleveland and Jacksonville, a penalty flag to the right eye brought down the star tackle, resulting in a six day hospital stay, bleeding behind the eye, a lawsuit settled at $ 25 million, and three seasons missed due to injury.
In 2003, Brown returned to the field and was signed by the Ravens. Brown served as both offensive and defensive tackle, proving his injury did not affect his ability. In 2006, however, Brown was released from the team and retired from football. Brown went on to open a restaurant in Maryland in 2009.
On September 23, 2011, police and emergency response personnel found Brown's body in his Baltimore condo. Based on an autopsy, doctors believe the cause of death may have been diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a life-threatening complication resulting from chronic hyperglycemia. Brown, who died at age 40, is believed to not have known he was diabetic and that the resulting DKA was directly linked to his undiagnosed illness. Brown would have had blood sugar levels exceeding 300, with normal, non-diabetic levels around 70 – 120, and would have had to have readings of 300 or higher for an extended period for his body to go into DKA.
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