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Home Deaths of Famous People

Deaths of Famous People

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.

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...

Fuller Albright, Founder of Modern Endocrinology

Fuller Albright discovered more new diseases and their causes than any other person in the history of medicine. He was the founder of modern endocrinology, the study of how glands work in your body. In his time, many chairmen of the departments of endocrinology in North American medical schools were men who had studied...

What Caused Garry Shandling’s Heart Attack?

Garry Shandling was a stand-up comedian; screen and television actor, director, writer, and producer who was nominated for 19 Primetime Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards as a star in "It's Garry Shandling's Show" and "The Larry Sanders Show". At age 66, with little warning, he died of a sudden massive heart attack.

Glenn Frey: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Ulcerative Colitis

Glenn Frey was the lead singer, songwriter and guitar, piano, and keyboard player in The Eagles, the great rock band that he had co-founded in 1971. In the 1980s the band broke up and he went on to sing on his own. In 1994, The Eagles got back together and were as famous as ever. At age 52, Frey developed two autoimmune diseases: rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis. In January 2016, at the too-young age of 67, Frey died with pneumonia and other complications of these autoimmune diseases.

Mal Whitfield, Olympian and Tuskegee Airman

Mal Whitfield was twice Olympic champion at 800 meters and one of America's greatest track and field athletes ever. Whitfield set six world records, won eight United States national titles, was elected to the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1974 and the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 1988.

Hemingway’s Suicide Caused by his Doctors

Early on the morning of July 2, 1961, sixty-one year old Ernest Hemingway, one of America's greatest writers and the winner of both the Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize, sat in the foyer of his home and shot himself in the head with a double-barreled shotgun. I believe that his suicide was caused by his doctors' complete failure to diagnose hemochromatosis, a hereditary disease that was so well known and so easy to treat that he could have had no suffering at all.

Dmitri Mendeleev, Father of the Periodic Table

Dmitri Mendeleev developed the Periodic Table that organized all of the chemical elements known at that time and many that were not yet known. He placed them in their correct order by their number of atoms (not their weight) and predicted elements that would be discovered in the future. It is...

President Eisenhower Changed the Way Doctors Treat Heart Attacks

On Sept 23, 1955, the President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, was staying at his in-laws’ house in Denver and went to play golf at the Cherry Hills Country Club. There he suddenly developed pain in his chest and belly. That evening, he had dinner with his physician, Major General Howard Scrum Snyder, and went to bed early, still complaining of pain.

What Killed Alexander the Great?

In 323 BCE, Alexander the Great died suddenly at the very young age of 32. This month, more than 2,300 years later, Dr Katherine Hall of the University of Otaga in New Zealand gives a very strong argument that he died of nerve damage from Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Alexander never lost a battle and was one of the most successful military commanders of all time. By age 30, he had reached the edge of the known world (modern India), to form an empire that stretched from today's Albania to eastern Pakistan, the largest empire of the ancient world.

John von Neumann, Father of the Computer Revolution

John von Neumann was one of the most versatile and brilliant mathematicians of all time. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1955 and died a year later after it spread quickly to his bones and brain. He had helped to develop both atomic and hydrogen bombs and was exposed to radioactivity while observing A-bomb tests in the Pacific and while working on nuclear weapons at Los Alamos, New Mexico.

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...

Alma Mahler, Muse to Many

Alma Schindler Mahler is famous for marrying and having affairs with some of the most brilliant and accomplished men of the 20th century. She was a composer, sculptor and writer who wanted to be famous for her own intellectual creations, but she lived at a time when it was extremely difficult for women to be prominent in the arts. She took the next best approach by marrying and loving some of the leading musicians, composers, architects, painters and writers of the era.

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...

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.

Leonard Bernstein’s Asthma and Heart Failure

Leonard Bernstein was one of America’s greatest composers and conductors. He was a pianist, arranger, educator, author and television personality, and wrote some of our best-loved musicals: West Side Story, Candide, and On The Town.

Ray Charles, The Genius

Ray Charles was an incredibly talented singer and composer of jazz, blues, gospel, and country music.

Andre the Giant and Acromegaly

Andre the Giant was a professional wrestler who at 7' 4" and 520 pounds, won the World Wrestling Federation individual championship and World Tag Team Championship. He was also an actor in several Hollywood films. His huge size was caused by a pituitary gland brain tumor that produced huge amounts of human growth hormone.

Paul Robeson, Voice of the Downtrodden

Paul Leroy Robeson was an All-American football player who became a world-famous singer and actor. He spent his entire life fighting for the rights of the working class and against ignorance and prejudice. Robeson was born in 1898 in Princeton, New Jersey, the youngest of five children of Reverend William Drew Robeson, a Presbyterian minister and escaped slave, and Maria Louisa Bustill Robeson, a schoolteacher. He grew up in Westfield, NJ at a time when blacks were discouraged from attending high school.

The Sad Story of Karen Carpenter

Karen Carpenter and her brother Richard sang together to form "The Carpenters", one of the leading singing groups in the 1970s. When she died of heart failure at age 32, she made the world painfully aware of a disease called anorexia nervosa.

Ancel Keys, Meat and Heart Attacks

Ancel Keys was an American scientist who is best known for his early work on heart attack risk factors and his theory that dietary saturated fats raise cholesterol to cause heart attacks. His other lasting contributions include K-Rations, the Body Mass Index (BMI) and the Mediterranean Diet.

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...

Chuck Vinci: Heart Damage in a Pre-Steroid Olympic Weightlifter

Chuck Vinci won gold medals at the 1956 and 1960 Olympic games and the 1955 and 1959 Pan American Games, and set 12 world records in the bantamweight class of weightlifting. He was arguably one of the world's greatest weightlifters before steroids and growth hormones were massively abused, primarily by behind-the-iron-curtain athletes.

Fanny Blankers-Koen, Olympian-The Flying Housewife

At the 1948 London Olympics, Fanny Blankers-Koen won four events: the women's 100 meters, 200 meters, 80 meter hurdles and 4 x 100 meter relay. She was 30 years old, 5'9" and 140 pounds and the mother of two children. She was arguably the greatest female track and field star in the world.

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.

Antonin Scalia: Bad Health Decisions

  In 1986, President Ronald Reagan appointed Antonin Scalia to the United States Supreme Court.  He was the first Italian-American justice and spent the next 30 years as perhaps the most conservative member of the court.     On the morning of February 13, 2016, the 79-year-old justice was found dead in his bed.  His doctor-prescribed breathing...

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...

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.

Merle Haggard: Be Good to Your Lungs

Merle Haggard was a legendary country music singer and guitar player with 38 songs that reached number one on the country charts, and 71 in the top ten. We have lost another great musical talent to the ravages of lung cancer and pneumonia, brought on by this generation's horrible treatment of their lungs.

Peggy Lipton and Colon Cancer

Peggy Lipton was an American television star, actress, model, and singer who played one of three undercover cops on the popular ABC series, The Mod Squad, from 1968 to 1973. She was nominated for four Emmy Awards and four Golden Globe Awards, and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama in 1971.