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Bill Russell, the Ultimate Team Player

Bill Russell, ranked by many as the greatest basketball player of all time, died in his sleep at age 88 on July 31, 2022. No cause of death was given, but a clue may come from his heart valve surgery more than ten years ago. When Russell played on a team, the team almost always won.

Carol Purdie (Diana’s Mother) and The Fall of Singapore

February 15th is the anniversary of the Fall of Singapore in 1942. Many families have stories of their war heroes, and this is the story of Diana's mother, Carol Brown Purdie, who survived on both fronts of World War II: The Blitz in England and the Japanese capture of Singapore. She never fully recovered from the trauma.

Did Roy Orbison Work Himself to Death?

Roy Orbison was one of America’s top singers and songwriters from 1957 to 1988. He sang his emotional ballads while standing still and wearing black clothes and dark-framed tinted glasses. Between 1960 and 1964, 22 of his songs placed on the Billboard Top 40. Elvis Presley said that his voice was the greatest and...

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.

Charles Bradley and Stomach Cancer

Soul singer Charles Bradley died of stomach cancer on September 23, 2017 at the very young age of 68. As you read his life story, you will cry just as I did, because of the incredible hardships this man overcame to eventually become a famous singer. His soulful moaning and yelling came from a man who spent much of his life alone, even sleeping on the streets, and was plagued by illiteracy, poverty and lack of a steady job.

Hank Williams and Spina Bifida

Hank Williams was one of the America's most influential singers and songwriters, with 11 number-one and 35 Top-10 songs on the Western Best Sellers list. In a recording career that lasted only six years, he wrote and performed classics we still hear today such as "Your Cheatin' Heart," "Hey Good Lookin'," "I Saw the Light", "Cold, Cold Heart", "Jambalaya" and many more.

Kirk Douglas: 23 Years of Rehabilitation After a Stroke

Kirk Douglas, who died at 103 on February 5, 2020, was one of the 20th century’s most famous actors. He starred in more than 90 movies and earned three Academy Award nominations, received a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981 from President Jimmy Carter, and an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement in 1996.

Bobbie Battista and Cervical Cancer

Bobbie Battista was one of the original CNN cable news anchors, starting in 1981 and continuing to broadcast there for 20 years. She died at the very young age of 67 after a four-year battle with cervical cancer.

Ted Kennedy’s Brain Cancer

Ted Kennedy was a successful United States senator from Massachusetts for almost 47 years, from 1962 until his death in 2009 from a brain tumor called glioblastoma multiforme. He died 15 months after his diagnosis. Today we have no successful treatment for this type of brain tumor; surgical resection, irradiation and chemotherapy are ineffective treatments, with an average life expectancy after a diagnosis of 14-16 months. A possible cure comes from promising research on mRNA-based gene transfer that has been going on for more than 15 years and is the research that led to the development of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines used to help prevent COVID-19.

Johnny Miles Was My Hero

“Unknown Kid Wins the Greatest of All Marathons” -- That was the Boston Post headline in 1926. The most unbelievable upset ever in a major marathon was pulled off by Johnny Miles, a 20 year-old who had never entered a marathon.

Natasha Richardson’s Needless Death

Natasha Richardson was a British stage and screen actress who died at the young age of 45 from an epidural brain hemorrhage caused by a skiing accident. From this tragedy you can learn how to recognize the signs of severe head injury even when the person insists that they do not need any...

Kurt Masur, Conductor and Hero

The world lost one of its great orchestra conductors when Kurt Masur died this week at age 88. He helped to prevent a massacre in East Germany in 1989, and helped to sustain American spirits after the attack on New York's World Trade Center in 2001. On October 9, 1989, after the fifth successive Monday...

Bernie Madoff, Lowlife Ponzi Schemer

On February 5, 2020, Bernard L. Madoff, the mastermind of the largest Ponzi scheme in history, filed a court brief asking to be released from his 150-year prison sentence because his doctors said that he had less than a year and a half to live due to end-stage kidney disease. His request was denied, and on April 14, 2021, he died in prison, apparently from heart failure brought on by his chronic kidney failure and a previous heart attack.

Bicycling is the Most Dangerous Professional Sport

Italian cyclist Michele Scarponi was killed by a truck on April 22, 2017. At age 37, he was at the peak of his career as a professional bicycle racer. He won the opening stage of the Tour of the Alps in Trento, Italy, eventually finished fourth in that tour, returned home that night, and went on a training ride the very next morning.

Dr. Michael DeBakey’s Famous Surgery

If you were a heart surgeon, would you operate on this patient? • He is 97 years old • He will certainly die in the next few days if you do not operate • He invented the surgical procedure that he now needs, more than 40 years ago • He did research that has saved millions of lives •...

Roger Ailes and Hemophilia

Seventy-seven-year-old Roger Ailes had hemophilia, a genetic inability to clot normally, so when he fell at his home on May 10, 2017, and hit his head, he bled into his brain which caused a subdural hematoma. The massive bleeding and tremendous pressure squashed his brain and killed him eight days later.

Mickey Mantle and Liver Cancer

Mickey Mantle went from extreme poverty in Oklahoma to become the superstar center fielder of the New York Yankees of the 1950s and 1960s, and arguably the greatest switch hitter in the history of baseball. He hit 536 home runs and had the highest stolen base percentage.

Natalie Cole and Hepatitis C

How would your life have turned out if you: • were the daughter of music legend Nat King Cole and famous singer Maria Hawkins Ellington, • were raised in the affluent Hancock Park district of Los Angeles, • were surrounded by incredible wealth (in a family called "the black Kennedys"), • socialized with...

Mary Tyler Moore and Type I Diabetes

Mary Tyler Moore was one of the most famous female television stars in North America, first as a wife and mother on The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–1966) and then as a single working woman on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970–1977) where she became a role model admired by women all over the world.

Elvis Presley was Killed by Inflammation

Elvis Presley sold more records than anyone else in the history of recorded music. He was nominated for 14 Grammys and won three, and has been inducted into virtually every music hall of fame. He died at the tragically young age of 42. In the last years of his life, he suffered from obesity, drug addiction, depression, chronic insomnia, glaucoma, high blood pressure, liver damage, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic constipation and an enlarged colon.

Ronald Reagan’s Medical History

Ronald Reagan was born into a very poor family, but he found success in everything he did. He was a member of his Eureka College football team and captain of the swim team.

David Crosby of Crosby, Stills & Nash

David Crosby was a brilliant songwriter, singer and guitarist who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice for playing in his world-famous bands, the “Byrds” and “Crosby, Stills & Nash." Five of his albums were named to Rolling Stone's list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” On January 18, 2023 he died at age 81 with no cause given, but he could have died of many different conditions provoked by his incredibly unhealthful lifestyle that included excessive drinking excessively and taking many recreational and prescribed drugs (marijuana, psychedelics, cocaine, heroin and more).

How Did Stalin Die?

On March 1, 1953, after an all-night dinner with heavy drinking among four of the highest Russian government officials, the 73 year-old Joseph Stalin collapsed at his house. Later he was found unconscious on the floor, yet no doctors were summoned until the next morning.

Frank Sinatra, Voice of the 20th Century

Frank Sinatra was the most famous popular singer in the world from the 1940s on, with every performance accompanied by screaming and swooning teenagers. His countless friends included presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, members of Britain's royal family and Princess Grace of Monaco.

Bob Marley and Melanoma

Bob Marley was a superstar Jamaican singer, guitarist and songwriter who sold more than 20 million records by bringing Jamaican music and the Rastafari movement to the world. He was the first major rock artist to come out of a Third World country. He mixed protest music with popular songs of rebellion and faith, and his "No Woman No Cry," "Could You Be Loved," "One Love," and many other songs are still very popular today.

Kirstie Alley and Colon Cancer

Kirstie Alley was an actress who gained fame when she joined the cast of Cheers in its sixth year, after Shelley Long ("Diane") left the popular series. Alley was nominated four times for Emmy awards, and received one for Cheers and one for David's Mother. She appeared in many movies including Star Trek II and Look Who's Talking with John Travolta, and has a motion picture star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. On December 5, 2022 at age 71, Alley died a short time after being diagnosed with colon cancer.

Cole Porter’s Horrendous Accident

This is the sad story of Cole Porter, one of America's greatest and most talented composers who won just about every award possible for songs and musical productions, and how his life was destroyed by a fall off a horse that caused pain for the rest of his life, depression, and eventually prevented him from creating new music (Med Gen Med, 2004;6(2):47). Today, you can still hear many of the more than 1,400 songs he wrote: "True Love", "Something to Shout About", "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home to", and many more.

Daryl Dragon of The Captain and Tennille

Daryl Dragon was a talented musician with serious medical problems who succeeded in the popular musical entertainment industry because of the incredible love, kindness and patience of his devoted wife, Toni Tennille. He played keyboards and she sang to form the very popular musical duo, The Captain & Tennille, in the 1970s and 1980s.

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.

Marty Robbins, Heart Attacks and Sleep Deprivation

Forty years ago this week we lost Marty Robbins at the tragically young age of 57. Robbins was one of the top country singers and songwriters from the 1940s to the 1980s, and today you will still hear his "El Paso," "Big Iron" and many other classics. He won two Grammy Awards and was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. At the same time he was a successful stock car racer who was in 36 NASCAR races from 1966 to 1982 and had six top-10 finishes.