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Ex-NFL Star Orlando Thomas Dead at 42 After Battle with A.L.S.

11/10/2014 7:47 AM PST

Ex-NFL Star Orlando Thomas -- Dead at 42 ... After Battle with A.L.S.

Breaking News
Former Minnesota Vikings star Orlando Thomas -- one of the best defensive backs in the league back in the '90s -- has died after battling ALS. 

The 42-year-old -- who led the NFL in interceptions in 1995 -- revealed he was battling the disease in 2007 ... 3 years after he first began exhibiting symptoms. 

Thomas was a stud in the NFL -- he was a 2nd round pick in the '95 Draft and was a key player on the 1998 Vikings team that went 15-1 and went all the way to the NFC championship. He retired in 2001. 

Orlando's agent Mark Bartelstein issued a statement saying ... "Nobody's ever fought a battle like Orlando fought, with so much dignity -- I never saw anything like it. It's just incredible."

Bartelstein added, "He never had a sense of self pity, never felt sorry for himself, he was always worried about everyone else. He was just the most incredible person I've ever been around." Watch TMZ Sports on FS1 Get the new TMZ Sports app!

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