Roman Gabriel, Star Quarterback of the 1960s and ’70s, Dies at 84

Roman Gabriel, one of the leading pro football passers of his time, who complemented his rocket arm with an imposing physique over 16 seasons beginning in 1962, died on Saturday at his home in Little River, S.C. He was 83.

His death was confirmed by his son, Roman Gabriel III, who did not specify a cause.

Playing for 11 seasons with the Los Angeles Rams and five with the Philadelphia Eagles, Gabriel, who stood 6-foot-2 and weighed about 235 pounds — hefty for a quarterback in that era — had a build akin to that of many of the linebackers he faced.

He was voted the N.F.L.’s Most Valuable Player when he led the N.F.L. in touchdown passes, with 24, in a 14-game season with the 1969 Rams.

He was also named the comeback player of the year by pro football writers in 1973, his first season with the Eagles. Coming off knee problems and a sore arm, he led the N.F.L. in touchdown passes (23), completions (270) and passing yardage (3,219) that season.

He played in four Pro Bowl games, three with the Rams in the late 1960s and another with the Eagles in 1973. But he reached the postseason only twice, and his Rams were eliminated in the first round both times.

Roman Ildonzo Gabriel Jr., was born on Aug. 5, 1940, in Wilmington, N.C. His father, a native of the Philippines, a railroad waiter and cook, had settled in North Carolina with his wife, Edna (Wyatt) Gabriel, who was Irish American.

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