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Richard Feynman, Physicist and Humorist

Richard Feynman was most likely killed by the first atomic bomb explosion in Trinity, New Mexico in December 1942, even though it took 46 years for him to die from it in 1988. He was one of the greatest theoretical physicists of all time. He won the 1965 Nobel Prize in physics for his...

Hal Connolly, from Disabled Child to Olympic Gold

Harold Connolly was born with only one functioning arm. Because of that he had to fight to be accepted, so he worked harder than everyone else. He became such a fierce competitor in the hammer throw that he won a gold medal in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. He was the first...

Toshiko D’Elia, Marathon Champion, Dies at 84

Toshiko D’Elia, who broke many age-group world marathon records for women over 50, died of brain cancer on February 19, 2014. She was the first woman over age 50 to run a marathon in under three hours, in 2:57:25 (August, 1980) and the first woman over age 65 to run under...

Al Capone: Crime Does Not Pay

The king of Chicago prostitution lost both his mind and his life to diseases caused by a lifetime of promiscuous sex. He was probably America's most famous killer, gangster, bootlegger, criminal and racketeer, but the United States government could convict him only for tax evasion and he was sentenced to only 11 years in prison.

Srinivasa Ramanujan, Math Prodigy

Perhaps the most amazing mathematician of all time was Srinivasa Aiyangar Ramanujan (1887-1920). He worked out incredibly complicated problems and expanded our knowledge of elliptic functions, continued fractions and infinite series. During his 32 years of life, he wrote about nearly 4000 math problems and almost all of his solutions have proven to be...

Kim Kardashian’s Psoriasis

Kimberly Noel Kardashian, one of the most visible women in the United States today, suffers from psoriasis, a skin disease that causes raised red patches with silvery scales to form on her body. Three percent of North Americans or more than eight million people have this hereditary condition. Kardashian is a fashion...

Rene Laennec, Founder of Modern Pulmonology

Which doctor do you consult when you are dying of a disease in which you are the world’s leading expert on the treatment of that disease? René-Thééophile-Hyacinthe Laennec was born in France in 1781 and died at age 45. He was a famous French physician who invented the stethoscope and was the father of our...

The Deadliest Epidemic in Recent History

What was the world-wide epidemic that killed at least 25 million people in one year? If you said the Ebola virus, AIDs or syphilis, you are wrong. It was the influenza epidemic of 1918-1920 that started near the end of World War I. It infected 500 million people, and may have killed as many...

The Baskerville Effect

In 2009, a Charlotte, N.C., man was charged with first-degree murder for scaring a 79-year-old woman to death. After attempting to rob a bank, a young man broke into and hid in the home of 79-year-old Mary Parnell. He did not touch her, but scared her so much that she suffered a heart attack...

Dick Cheney: Sometimes Doctors Lie

This week former U.S Vice President Dick Cheney and his doctor came out with a new book in which they describe his five heart attacks and his heart transplant at age 71. They should tell you how the American public was kept from knowing just how sick he was. During the primaries before the...

Michael E. DeBakey, Father of Modern Heart Surgery

“He was probably the greatest surgeon who ever lived” (The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2005). Michael DeBakey personally performed more than 60,000 surgical procedures. He developed the surgical procedures to bypass blocked arteries in the neck, legs and heart. These surgeries have been performed on millions of patients. He developed artificial pumps for...

Wilma Rudolph, Polio Survivor

At the 1960 Rome Olympics, Wilma Rudolph became the first American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympic Games. 80,000 spectators watched the 5-foot-11, 130 pound beauty win the 100-meter dash by more than three yards in a world-record 11 seconds. In the opening heat of the 200 meter run, she...

Joseph Louis Melnick, Virologist

Joseph Melnick (October 9, 1914 – January 7, 2001) was one of the most famous virologists in the world. He wrote more than 1000 scientific papers and was the editor of many scientific journals. He died of dementia. Brilliant People with Dementia On the same page as his obituary in the New York Times on January...

Peter Huttenlocher, World-Famous Neurologist

The August 27, 2013 issue of the New York Times contains the obituary of Peter Huttenlocher, who died at age 82 of pneumonia, the result of Parkinson’s disease preventing him from clearing particles from his lungs. Huttenlocher was born in Germany on Feb. 23, 1931, to a chemist father and opera singer mother. They divorced...

Wilhelm Weichardt’s Treatment for Chronic Fatigue

When a person becomes extraordinarily tired to the point where he or she can’t get through the day, doctors do an extensive evaluation to find the cause. They check for an infection, a hidden cancer, poison, an autoimmune disease, lack of minerals and so forth. When they have tested for every known disease and...

Rose Knox: Profit from Brittle Nails

Rose Markward was born in Mansfield, Ohio in 1857. At the age of 26, she married a salesman named Charles B. Knox and moved to his hometown of Johnstown, New York, which had many tanneries and therefore also had many slaughterhouses. Slaughterhouse waste — hooves, tendons, intestines and bones — was very cheap, and...

Gordie Howe, the Toughest Athlete Ever

Gordie Howe, arguably the best hockey player who ever lived, is now 85 years old and has severe short-term memory loss and difficulty speaking. His son, Marty, says he is always worse in the evening. Confusion in the evening is a common finding in people who suffer from dementia, but according to his son,...

The Death of President Harrison

When I was in high school, I read in my history textbook that William Henry Harrison, the ninth president of the United States, died from pneumonia because he didn’t wear a hat when he stood in the cold for hours during his inauguration. After reading that, I wore my woolen stocking cap pulled down...

Chris Klug, the Bravest Olympian

On February 15, 2002 in one of the most amazing feats of courage and athleticism, Chris Klug of the United States placed third in the Giant Slalom of Snowboarding at the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City — eighteen months after receiving someone else’s liver to replace his liver that was destroyed by a...

The Heat Stroke Death of Korey Stringer

Korey Stringer was born in 1974. He was 6' 4" tall, weighed 335 pounds and was an All American tackle at Ohio State University. He went on to become an All Pro lineman for the Minnesota Vikings. On Tuesday morning, July 31, 2001, the temperature index reached 110 degrees. The Vikings wore full pads and...

The Despicable Dr. Julius Reiter

One of the greatest tributes a physician can receive is to have a medical condition named after him. For example, I had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Mike Leventhal and remember how all the residents in training with me treated him with the greatest reverence because he was the Leventhal of Stein-Leventhal syndrome, also...

Eugene O’Neill’s Guilt and Death

Eugene O'Neill, one of America's greatest playwrights, wrote about people who went wrong and asked for forgiveness. An article in the New England Journal of Medicine (April 13, 2000) gives O'Neill the forgiveness that he never requested in his own life time. HE DID NOT DIE OF ALCOHOLIC BRAIN DAMAGE. O'Neill died at age 65...

Antonio Vivaldi’s Asthma

Antonio Vivaldi was born in Venice on March 4th, 1678. He became a famous opera and classical music composer because he had asthma. He was known as the “Red Priest” because of his red hair that he inherited from his father. His father was a barber and a professional violinist who taught Antonio to play...

Vera Caslavska: Marriage of Two Great Olympic Athletes

If you are envious of great athletes, read the true story of what happened when two Olympic athletes married. Vera Caslavska of Czechoslovakia (born May 3, 1942) won 35 medals, (including 22 gold) at the Olympic Games and at world and European championships. She was the dominant athlete of the 1968 Olympics when she...

Emily Dickinson, SAD Poet

Emily Dickinson was probably America’s greatest female poet, but during her lifetime she wrote only for herself. Because she felt that her work was of inferior quality, only seven of her 1768 poems were published during her lifetime. I will give you clues that should lead you to tell what disease she had. She spent...

Mamo Wolde, Olympian

In the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, 36-year-old Mamo Wolde won the marathon and took second in the 10,000-meter run. He spent the last years of his life in prison for crimes that he probably did not commit. MY CONTACT WITH MAMO WOLDE AND ABEBE BIKILA: In 1963, Olympic champion Abebe Bekila and his virtually...

Zachary Taylor’s Salmonella

“Ol’ Rough n’ Ready” Zachary Taylor was the twelfth president of the United States. He was a brave and tough man who fought many battles from the War of 1812 to the Mexican War. On the Fourth of July, 1850, President Taylor was in good health and attended a Sunday school program, where he ate...

Arthur Conan Doyle: The Power of Observation

Students in every medical school hear the same stories heard in every other medical school, but they usually believe that these stories happened to their own professors at their own school. Here is a story that I heard when I was in medical school in the 1950s. DR HOFF’S STORY: Dr. Hebel Hoff was chairman...

Mozart’s Sore Throat

In 1791, arguably the world’s most gifted composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, died at the very young age of 35. His death was rumored to have been caused by poisoning by Antonio Salieri, a court composer in Austria who was jealous of Mozart’s great talent and success. In 1823, 22 years after Mozart’s death, Salieri, who...

Stella Walsh, Olympic Female Sprint Champion

Stella Walasiewicz, later known as Stella Walsh, won the women’s 100-meter dash at the 1932 Olympics for Poland. Four years later, at the 1936 Berlin Olympics she took silver, beaten by the American, Helen Stephens. Stephens also set new world records for the 200m and the standing broad jump, and won the shot put. Stella...