Itzhak Perlman and Polio
Itzhak Perlman is arguably the most brilliant and beloved violinist of the 20th century and so far in the 21st. He is also so knowledgeable and coordinated that he has conducted many major orchestras. This is incredible because both of his legs are paralyzed from an attack of polio contracted at age...
Richard Nixon’s Paranoia
On April 18, 1994, Richard Nixon suffered a massive stroke at his home in Park Ridge, New Jersey. Four days later he sank into a coma and died at age 81. Famous people from all over the world, including five U.S. presidents, attended his funeral. President Bill Clinton's eulogy talked about Nixon's accomplishments in foreign affairs and did not mention his constitutional crimes.
Glen Campbell’s Dementia
Glen Campbell was the son of a sharecropper who went from childhood poverty to wealth and world fame as a country singer, but he spent his last several years suffering from dementia and died from its complications at age 81 on August 8, 2017.
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.
Baron Larrey, Napoleon’s Surgeon General
It wasn't the Russians who defeated Napoleon in the War of 1812; it was Napoleon's surgeon general, Baron Larrey. Napoleon was set to conquer the civilized world, but he was done in by Russia's horribly cold winter. Baron Larrey made matters worse by telling the soldiers to rub snow on their frozen hands. Rubbing snow on frostbite removed their skin, which led to infection and death.
Mark Shields and Kidney Failure
Mark Shields was a political columnist, a television commentator, and an election campaign advisor to numerous democratic candidates. He was a regular commentator and analysist on the PBS NewsHour for 32 years from 1988-2020. He was one of CNN's Capital Gang for 17 years from 1988-2005, and was a regular on Inside Washington on PBS and ABC until the show ended in 2013. Shields died from kidney failure at age 85, on June 18, 2022.
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.
Mickey Rooney, Ninety Years Onstage
Mickey Rooney was truly one of the most enduring and talented performers of all time. He could act seriously, tell jokes and be funny, sing, and dance in his many roles in the theater, Broadway, vaudeville, radio, TV and more than 300 movies over his 90-year career. He starred in 43 films between ages 15 and 25 and was Hollywood's top box office draw from 1939 to 1941.
Franz Kafka and Tuberculosis
Franz Kafka was one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, even though little of his work was published before his death at the young age of 40. He had tuberculosis in his esophagus, which prevented food from reaching his stomach, so he starved to death. He finished none of his...
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.
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...
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.
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.
Peter Sellers’s Many Heart Attacks
Peter Sellers was a very talented British film actor, comedian and singer who could create characters and copy accents so effectively that he often played several different roles in the same film. He was nominated three times for an Academy Award, and four times for Golden Globe’s best male actor award. His most famous role was that of Chief Inspector Clouseau in the five Pink Panther films.
President Harrison Didn’t Die from Not Wearing a Hat
William Henry Harrison was a U.S. military officer and politician who died of pneumonia 31 days into his term, to become the first president to die in office. He was 68 years and 23 days old, and at that time, the average life expectancy for a man was only 38 years.
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.
Ida Keeling, Setting Running Records at 100
Two years ago, Ida Keeling (born May 5, 1915) set the world record for a 99 year old woman in the 100-meter dash at 59.80 seconds. At age 95 she set the world record for running 60 meters at 29.86 seconds. Her brain matches her athletic prowess. She can recall names and dates immediately. Running as she ages has given her life more meaning and purpose, which is very important as she probably has many more years to live,
Neil Armstrong’s Bypass Surgery
Neil Armstrong was a great American hero who: • flew 78 combat missions as a Korean War military pilot, • was a test pilot for new planes, and • was the 1966 spacecraft commander for Apollo 11, the first manned lunar mission. On July 20, 1969, he became the first human to walk on the moon. He later...
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.
Topol: 3500 Performances as Tevya in Fiddler On The Roof
Chaim Topol was an Israeli actor, singer, and illustrator, who was most famous for playing “Tevya “ more than 3,500 times from 1967 through 2009, in arguably the most popular musical of all time -- Fiddler on the Roof. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of Tevya in the 1971 film adaptation. He was the best known of a long line of famous actors who played the role, including Zero Mostel, Theodore Bikel, Herschel Bernardi, Leonard Nimoy and many others.
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.
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.
Paul Allen and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Paul Allen was ranked as the 44th-richest person in the world ($20.3 billion), co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates and then went on to found his own company, Vulcan Inc., that owned research, media, technology and spaceflight companies. He owned three major sports teams and gave away more than $2 billion for philanthropic projects in science, education, wildlife conservation, the arts and community services. He suffered from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and died at age 65 on October 15, 2018, from septic shock brought on by the cancer and its treatment.
Barry Marshall, from Quack to Nobel Prize
I love stories about quacks who become prophets. Medical breakthroughs are often made by doctors who were first ridiculed by their peers. In 1983, Barry Marshall and John Warren presented a paper to the Australian Gastroenterological Society claiming that stomach ulcers are caused by infection. They never finished their paper because they were laughed off the stage. Barry Marshall became so upset that he swallowed a vial of the bacteria taken from a patient who had stomach ulcers, went into shock and almost died.
King George III: Porphyria, Gout and Lead Poisoning
If you think that the Boston Tea Party caused the American Revolution, think again. The war was caused by a hereditary disease, an attack of gout and lead in wine.
John Enders, Vaccine Pioneer
The year 2020 will be remembered for the incredible ground-breaking research leading to vaccines to prevent COVID-19, which may progress to new vaccines that will prevent almost any known viral infection in humans, even though they do not contain any weakened or living virus. The same techniques are likely to be used to prevent...
Milt Campbell, Olympic Decathlon Champion
Milt Campbell, one of the greatest and most versatile athletes who ever lived, died at age 78 of diabetes and prostate cancer. Research shows that prostate cancer will affect almost every North American male if he lives long enough, and risk is markedly increased in men who have diabetes.
Christopher Reeve: Heart Failure from Muscle Loss
Christopher Reeve was a BAFTA-award-winning movie actor best known as the 6'4" athletic Superman and his bumbling counterpart, Clark Kent.
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.
Patrick Henry’s Wife
The next time you go to Richmond, Virginia, visit the Patrick Henry House in nearby Hanover County and you will see a first-floor room with bars over the windows and steel locks on the doors. The guide will tell you that Patrick Henry’s wife was crazy, and that Patrick Henry did not want to...