Father of Steelers coach Tomlin dies of apparent heart attack

Ed Tomlin, the father of Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, died Monday, according to the Ocala Star-Banner. He was 63.

Ed Tomlin's family said he had an apparent heart attack at home after spending the day fishing, the newspaper reported.

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"He loved people. He was very knowledgeable, outgoing and loved fishing," Ed Tomlin's wife, Mazella, said.

Ed Tomlin was a civil-rights activist and served as the president of the local chapter of the NAACP from 2003 to 2006.

"He displayed statesmanship," Whitfield Jenkins, a fellow NAACP activist, said. "He used to talk about the difference between a politician and a statesman. The way he related to people, the way he approached issues and problem solving was very statesman-like. He was very courageous, but at the same time he gave people an opportunity to give their opinion."

The Baltimore Colts drafted Ed Tomlin, a native of Ocala, in 1968 out of Hampton University (known at the time as Hampton Institute), though he didn't play a game with the Colts. He joined the Canadian Football League instead, playing eight games with the Montreal Alouettes.

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