Roman Gabriel, NFL MVP and College Football Hall of Fame quarterback, dies at 83

College Football Hall of Fame quarterback Roman Gabriel, who played 16 seasons in the NFL and was named the 1969 MVP following a prolific Hall of Fame career at North Carolina State University, has died. He was 83.

Gabriel's son, Roman Gabriel III, announced the quarterback's death Saturday morning on X, writing, "I am sad to announce my father Roman Gabriel passed away peacefully this morning of natural causes at his home... love you dad."

Gabriel was a star quarterback at NC State from 1959-1961, where he was named ACC player of the year in back-to-back seasons (1960, 1961) and became the first ACC quarterback to throw for 1,000 yards in a single season (1960).

"We mourn the passing of our legendary former quarterback Roman Gabriel and offer our condolences to his family," the Wolfpack's football team wrote on X.

Born Aug. 5, 1940 in Wilmington, North Carolina, Gabriel was selected with the No. 2 overall pick of the 1962 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams to become the NFL's first quarterback of Filipino-American descent.

"Going into the Hall of Fame isn't the most impressive thing. It's being who I am, who I represent. That's more important to me," Gabriel told NBC News in 2018. "I like to think, being the first Filipino quarterback, that it impacted a lot of the young people. ... If he could do it, it felt like I could do it."

Gabriel went on to play 16 seasons in the NFL, where he earned four Pro-Bowl nods and recored 29,444 career yards, 201 touchdowns and 149 interceptions in 183 games (157 starts).

He spent the first 11 years of his career with the Rams, where he was named the 1969 NFL MVP after completing a league-high 24 touchdowns that season. He joined the Philadelphia Eagles in 1973 and was named the NFL comeback player of the year after he led the league in attempts (460), completions (270), yards (3,219) and touchdowns (23). He retired in 1977 after five seasons in Philadelphia.

"We mourn the loss of Rams legend and football pioneer, Roman Gabriel," The Rams wrote on X. "We extend our condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time."

Gabriel was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1971 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1989. Gabriel said his lack of postseason success in the NFL – he was 0-2 in the playoffs in his career – is the only thing that kept him out of Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

"Most people have told me it's because we never got to the Super Bowl," Gabriel said in 2018 when asked about his omission. "The only thing I wish in my career is that we had a shot to play a home game in Los Angeles in the playoffs."

He added: "Today, the team that finishes with the best regular season record, the playoff game goes there. When we played, you had to go to where the team had a better record the year before. It's a little different coming out of 80-degree weather into 20 below zero."

Off the football field, Gabriel enjoyed an acting career with his credits including the films "Skidoo" (1969 and "The Undefeated" (1969) and TV appearances on "Gilligan's Island," "The Merv Griffin Show," "The Virginia Graham Show," "The Rosey Grier Show," and "The Joey Bishop Show."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Roman Gabriel: Former Rams MVP quarterback dies at 83