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Home Deaths of Famous People

Deaths of Famous People

Dick Buerkle and Multiple Systems Atrophy

Dick Buerkle ran 3:54.93 to break the world record in the men's indoor mile in 1978, and earned places on the 1976 and 1980 U.S. Olympic teams. From age 12 onward, he had suffered considerable taunting from his classmates because he lost all the hair on his head.

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.

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.

Raoul Dufy’s Rheumatoid Arthritis

Raoul Dufy, one of the most popular painters of the early 20th century, produced more than 6000 paintings that featured themes of happiness, luxury and pleasure. He was one of the first people with rheumatoid arthritis to be treated with cortisone and died from its side effects less than three years after he started...

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.

Julius Wagner-Jauregg’s Nobel Prize for Syphilis Treatment

In 1927, Austrian psychiatrist Julius Wagner-Jauregg received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for curing some patients with brain damage from syphilis by infecting them with malaria.

Larry Flynt, Free Speech Advocate

Larry Flynt was a publisher, businessman and promoter who was one of the most notorious producers of pornography, rising to fame and great wealth from his raunchy Hustler magazine. He built a $100 million business empire based on magazines, private clubs, casinos, sex-toy stores, videos, and three pornographic television channels.

Harry Truman Probably Had Diabetes

In the year 2000, a C-SPAN Poll ranking all U.S. Presidents was conducted by 58 presidential historians and scholars. Harry S. Truman ranked fifth behind Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Washington and Theodore Roosevelt. I think that Truman and Winston Churchill were the two most influential people of the 20th century. Truman helped to prevent a third world war and to preserve the free world from communist oppression.

Paul English: Why Pneumonia is Such a Common Cause of Death in Seniors

Paul English was Willie Nelson's drummer and best friend for nearly sixty years. In 2014, English told a Rolling Stone writer that Willie Nelson had saved his life, saying, "If I hadn’t gone with Willie, I would be in the penitentiary or dead."

Freud and Dreams

For 50 years, Freud was one of the most revered scientists on earth. Then researchers discovered neurotransmitters, chemicals that pass messages from one nerve to another. They found that people who hallucinate and are not able to think clearly are schizophrenic because their brains make too much dopamine or glutamate, and that people are depressed because their brains make too little norepinephrine and serotonin;

Ed Asner: “Lou Grant,” “Elf” and “Up”

Ed Asner was an American actor and television star whose most famous character was Lou Grant, who first appeared on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in 1970. He was so well-liked that when the series ended in 1977, he was given his own show based on the same character for five more years.

John Havlicek: Parkinson’s Disease in Athletes

John Havlicek was one of the most gifted athletes ever.  Over 16 seasons with the Boston Celtics from 1962-1978, he scored 26,395 points, averaged 20.8 points a game, was named to five NBA all-defensive teams, won eight NBA championships and played in 13 All-Star games. 

Roger Ebert and Thyroid Cancer

Roger Ebert was the Chicago Sun-Times film critic who joined the Chicago Tribune film critic, Gene Siskel, in hosting a nationally-acclaimed show on PBS television. He was the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for reviewing movies and the first film critic to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame....

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 •...

Neil Fingleton, Game of Thrones Giant

At 7 feet, 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.

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.

Olivia Newton-John and Breast Cancer

Olivia Newton-John was a British-Australian singer, actress, and activist, most famous for starring with John Travolta in the 1978 musical film Grease, whose soundtrack is still today one of the world's best-selling albums. Her recordings have sold more than 100 million records, and she won four Grammy Awards. In 1992, at age 44, she was first diagnosed with breast cancer.

Sinead O’Connor’s Fibromyalgia

Sinead O'Connor is an Irish singer and songwriter who became famous in the late 1980s and has been a strong moralist, speaking out against war and against the abuse of women and children. Her career has been interrupted by bipolar disorder and fibromyalgia. In the spring of 2012, she appeared on her way back...

Mozart and Sore Throats

In 1791, arguably the world’s most gifted composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, died at the very young age of 35. Today, no serious researchers believe that Mozart was poisoned because his medical history and his symptoms match those of a classic disease that can now be cured.

Tom Simpson, Death from Heat Stroke

This year's Tour de France has seen the worst heat wave ever, with several of the racers dropping out due to heat stroke.. Everybody should know the signs and symptoms of heat stroke.

Peter Tork of The Monkees

Peter Tork sang and played bass and keyboard for The Monkees, a television show about a band spoofing the The Beatles. The show ran for two years from 1966 to 1968 and won an Emmy Award for outstanding comedy.

Jackie Gleason’s Colon Cancer

Jackie Gleason was the most famous television actor of his time and he was so hilarious that reruns of his shows and movies are still popular today. At age 33, he became Chester A. Riley in the television production "The Life of Riley". At age 36, he starred in "The Jackie Gleason Show" as a series of characters who yelled a lot and murdered the English language. One of his most popular characters was Ralph Kramden, a brash, blustering, bumbling bus driver who always bullied his wife, Alice. These sketches became Gleason's most popular show, "The Honeymooners."

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...

Jack Lovelock, the Wonder Miler

Jack Lovelock won the 1935 Olympic 1500 meter run in a world record 3 minutes and 47.8 seconds. It was the first time since 1904 that an Olympic 1,500-meter winner had broken the world record and was also New Zealand's first Olympic gold medal ever.

Meat Loaf: COVID-19 and Immune Defects

Meat Loaf was a singer who won a Grammy award for the Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance in the country for the song “I’d Do Anything for Love,” went on more than 30 tours to sell his records, and had three “Bat Out of Hell” albums that sold more than 65 million copies. He also appeared in more than 50 movies including Fight Club, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Wayne’s World.

Comparing the COVID-19 Pandemic to the 1918-1920 Flu Pandemic

It appears that the current COVID-19 pandemic will not be anywhere near as harmful as the swine flu influenza pandemic of 1918-1920 that started near the end of World War I, infected 500 million people, and killed about 39 million people, which was 2.3 percent of the world’s population of 1.7 billion people at that time.

Philip Roth and Heart Failure

The noted novelist Philip Roth has died at age 85 of heart failure, even though he had changed many of his lifestyle risk factors that caused him to suffer a heart attack at the very young age of 56, which required bypass surgery of all five arteries leading to his heart.

Joe DiMaggio’s Famous Last Words

Joe DiMaggio was one of the greatest baseball players of all time. His 56-game-hitting streak record still stands today. He played in 10 World Series and his team won nine times. He was a three-time American League most-valuable player and 2-time champion of the American League in batting, home-runs, and runs-batted-in.

Chadwick Boseman, The Black Panther

Chadwick Boseman was a movie actor who brilliantly portrayed baseball player Jackie Robinson (2013), singer James Brown (2014), and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall (2017). In 2016, at age 40, he was diagnosed with colon cancer and never told the public about his serious diagnosis.

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.