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Marit Bjorgen, Cross Country Skier

Marit Bjorgen was born in 1980 and is the most successful female cross-country skier of all time, winning world-championship short-sprint races as well as those in all the longer-endurance races. She has won six Olympic gold medals, 18 FIS World Ski Championship gold medals, 110 individual FIS World-Cup gold medals, and 29 (the most ever) gold medals in Cross-Country World Cup sprints.

Gale Sayers: Dementia from Head Trauma

Gale Sayers is considered by many as possibly the greatest halfback ever. He was probably the fastest player in the National Football league and had run 100 yards in a very fast 9.7 seconds.

Jean Shepard and Parkinson’s Disease

On September 29, 2016, country music lost one of its all-time greats. Most of you have heard Jean Shepard singing "Dear John Letter" with Ferlin Husky, the first post-World War II record by a female country singer to become the number one country song and sell more than a million records.

David Cassidy, Teen Idol

David Cassidy achieved early fame as Keith Partridge in the 1970s musical sitcom The Partridge Family, and by his early twenties he was a singer and guitarist, had the top selling single record of the year, multiple Grammy nominations, a Golden Apple Award and a fan club of teenagers that was larger than those of Elvis Presley and The Beatles combined.

Neil Simon’s Kidney Disease

Neil Simon was America's premier play and movie writer. His more than 30 plays and 30 movies won a Pulitzer Prize, three Oscars, three Tony awards, 17 Tony nominations and four Academy Award nominations. He once had four successful plays running at the same time on Broadway, and in 1983, he became the only living person to have a Broadway theater named after him.

Charles Darwin and Panic Disorder

Charles Darwin was one of the most influential scientists of all time. He was the first person to clearly define evolution as selective breeding in which favorable variations in an organism are passed on, and unfavorable variations are dropped, so that the species on earth today have gradually evolved from common ancestors.

Houdini’s Appendix

Harry Houdini was probably the most famous escape artist, magician, and stunt performer of all time. He usually appeared in a long coat and tie, and was one of the cockiest performers ever to appear on stage. He died at age 52 from a ruptured appendix, reportedly caused by being punched in the stomach.

Dallas McCarver, Bodybuilder, Dead at Age 26

At age 21, Dallas McCarver won the IFBB North American Bodybuilding Championship to become the youngest professional bodybuilder ever to win a pro qualifier competition. In the next five years, he grew to weigh 300 pounds on 6'1" frame, won many bodybuilding competitions, and became well-known as one of the strongest and most dedicated professional bodybuilders in the world.

Garry Shandling’s High Blood Calcium

A blood calcium test is one of the routine blood tests done on normal physical exams. If your doctor ever tells you that your blood calcium is high, make sure that you find a cause. The most common cause of high blood calcium is a parathyroid tumor, which usually can be removed and you are cured. Otherwise it can harm and even kill you.

Gustav Born: Innovations after Hiroshima

Gustav Born was a physician and pharmacologist who taught the world about blood clotting. In 1945, he was posted as a British army doctor in Hiroshima, and noticed that most of the survivors of the atomic bomb suffered from chronic bleeding. He demonstrated that exposure to radiation destroys the body's platelets to cause the bleeding and laid the basics for treatment of bleeding and clotting disorders, some of which are still used today.

Zachary Taylor’s Salmonella

Zachary Taylor became the 12th president of the United States after being a national hero as the major general who led the United States to victory in the Mexican–American War in 1848.. He ran on the platform to preserve the union in its battles over slavery. He died after only sixteen months in office.

Rich Piana: Why Do So Many Bodybuilders Die Young?

In August 2017, the world-famous body builder Rich Piana collapsed from a heart attack while his girlfriend was giving him a haircut. He died after two weeks in a medically-induced coma, at the age of 46. A search of his apartment revealed more than 20 bottles of steroids.

Jim Bouton and Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy

Jim Bouton was not good enough to play on his high school baseball team but ended up as a professional All-Star baseball pitcher with the New York Yankees who won both of his starts in the 1964 World Series.  He was also a best-selling author, movie actor, and sportscaster and one of the creators...

Neil Fingleton, Game of Thrones Giant

At 7 foot, 7.5 inches, Neil Fingleton was the tallest man in the United Kingdom. He played basketball at the University of North Carolina and Holy Cross College and as a pro in the United States, Spain, China, Italy, Greece and England. He later became an actor who played Mag the Mighty in the HBO fantasy series, Game of Thrones and the villain, The Fisher King, in BBC’s Doctor Who.

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...

John Singleton: High Blood Pressure and Strokes

John Singleton was a film and TV director, screenwriter, and producer who, in 1991 at age 24, became the first African American and the youngest person ever to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director, for his film Boyz n the Hood.

Ron Clarke and High Altitude

Australian runner Ron Clarke died this year from an event that occurred at the Olympics in Mexico City 47 years ago. Clarke was one of the greatest distance runners who ever lived, even though he never won an Olympic gold medal. He was my hero when I competed in long distance races in the 1960s,...

Houston McTear, a Natural Runner

One of the greatest natural track athletes of all time died from lung cancer at age 58. He went from extreme poverty to athletic riches and back to extreme poverty, never having won an Olympic medal. He was unknown to most people but is a legend to all true fans of track and field.

Carrie Fisher’s Inflammatory Lifestyle

Carrie Fisher, best known as Princess Leia in Star Wars. was a brilliant writer and producer as well as a productive actress. She appeared in Shampoo, The Blues Brothers, Hannah and Her Sisters, When Harry Met Sally and other movies, and wrote several best-selling books.

Oliver Sacks and Melanoma of the Eye

Oliver Sacks died this week at age 82 of a melanoma in his eye that was diagnosed 11 years ago and recently had spread to his liver. He was a neurologist who wrote more than a dozen popular books that sold millions of copies, making him probably the most-read physician-author in the world. His...

The On-and-Off Partnership of Tammy Wynette and George Jones

George Jones and Tammy Wynette, perhaps the most popular married country-singing couple of all time, told us a lot about their marriage and divorce. They were married for only seven years, but they wrote and sang together while they were married and for twenty years after they were divorced.

Christopher Plummer, Oldest Oscar Winner

Christopher Plummer was a Canadian actor in film, theater and television, who was most famous for his 1965 performance as Captain Georg von Trapp in The Sound of Music. Over his incredibly active career, he won an Academy Award, two prime-time Emmy Awards, two Tony Awards, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a British Academy Film Award, and was nominated for many other honors.

Leonard Nimoy, COPD and Smoking

Leonard Nimoy gave up smoking two packs of cigarettes a day more than 30 years ago, but he still smothered to death this week from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). He won three Emmy awards for starring in "Star Trek" ((1966-1969) as Spock, a 23rd-century space voyager from the planet Vulcan. He was...

Dwight Eisenhower: The History of Bed Rest

From 1900 to 1940, doctors routinely put people to bed for at least two months after a heart attack. In the 1950s the first studies came out to show that men who were put to bed after a heart attack were more likely to die than those who were active. Doctors responded by shortening bed rest from two months to two weeks.

Larry King, a Life of 60,000 Interviews

As his doctor and friend, I knew Larry King as the hardest working person I have ever met. He hosted a nightly national Mutual Broadcasting System talk show on 500 radio stations from 1978 to 1994, which were rebroadcast until 2010.

Van Cliburn, Cold War Hero

In 1958, at the height of the "Cold War", the Soviet Union gained an incredible coup by successfully launching Sputnik 1, the first orbiting satellite. At that time, almost all of the world’s premier pianists came from the Soviet Union, so they sponsored the first quadrennial International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow to...

Kelly Catlin: Concussion, Depression and Suicide

Kelly Catlin was a world-class bicycle racer who won a silver medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics and gold medals in the 2016, 2017, and 2018 UCI Track Cycling World Championships. At the same time, she was a concert-quality classical violinist and an artist, was graduated summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics, spoke fluent Chinese, and was in the exclusive graduate school in mathematics at Stanford University when she committed suicide at age 23, on March 7, 2019

Tony Gwynn, Mr. Padre, Dead at 54

One of baseball's best batters ever, Tony Gwynn, died of cancer of his salivary glands on June 16, 2014. The New York Times called Gwynn "the best pure hitter of his generation". During 20 seasons for the San Diego Padres, he had an incredible .338 career batting average, hit above .300 for 19 consecutive...

Emil Zatopek, the Best Distance Runner

Most runners today still think that Emil Zatopek was the greatest runner who ever lived. At the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games, he won three gold medals in the 5,000 meters, the 10,000 meters and marathon, all in Olympic and world record times, a feat that will probably never be equaled.

Albert Finney’s Kidney Cancer Treatments

Albert Finney was an English actor best remembered for his Academy-Award-nominated roles as the lawyer in Erin Brockovich, Geoffrey Firmin in Under the Volcano, Sir in The Dresser, Hercule Poirot in Murder on the Orient Express, and the title role in the 1963 classic, Tom Jones.