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Home Deaths of Famous People

Deaths of Famous People

Micheline Ostermeyer, Olympian and Concert Pianist

It takes so much work and time to train to become outstanding at any endeavor that there are very few people who have risen to the top of the world stage in more than one field. One of the most impressive people who ever lived was Micheline Ostermeyer of France. She was born in 1922 and died at age 78 in 2001, and was a concert pianist who won three Olympic medals in the 1948 Olympics.

Marie Curie, Brilliant Heroine

Madame Marie Curie was one of the most brilliant and hard-working people who ever lived. She won two Nobel Prizes and helped her husband and daughter each win one. Her death certificate read that she died of pernicious anemia caused by radiation from her many experiments with radium and polonium, the two elements that she discovered.

Giacomo Casanova, the Great Lover

Casanova is defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as "a man who is a promiscuous and unscrupulous lover." Near the end of his life in the 1790s, he wrote a 12-volume, 3,800-page autobiography claiming that he slept with at least 136 women and some men, including nobility, servants, and prostitutes.

Rachel Carson: Is Breast Cancer an Environmental Disease?

Rachel Carson was an environmental scientist and writer who alerted the world to the health dangers of pesticides and fertilizers. Her best-selling book, Silent Spring, led to formation of a presidential commission that recommended banning DDT, and to creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In 1964, she died of breast cancer.

The Baskerville Effect

In 2009, a Charlotte, N.C., man was charged with first-degree murder for scaring a 79-year-old woman to death. After attempting to rob a bank, a young man broke into and hid in the home of 79-year-old Mary Parnell. He did not touch her, but scared her so much that she suffered a heart attack...

Adolph Hitler: A War On Drugs

Hitler was addicted to cocaine, took 28 different drugs for intestinal gas, had severe lack of libido, and was given drugs that contained strychnine, a poison that most likely caused his constant pain. Hitler was not alone in his drug addiction. Dependence on amphetamines the way of life for the entire German army, athletes, factory workers, housewives and students.

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,...

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.

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.

Tom Hanks, Diabetes and YoYo Dieting

Tom Hanks' films have grossed more than $4.2 billion in the United States and Canada, and more than $8.4 billion worldwide. He is the highest grossing actor of all-time with an average of $107 million per film. Seventeen of his films have grossed more than $100 million. Hanks has...

George Gershwin, Incorrectly Diagnosed with Depression

George Gershwin was arguably America’s greatest composer of Broadway musicals and movie film scores, and was always the bon vivant of every party he attended. He wrote the enormously successful “Swanee” at age nineteen. He was a playboy who rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous, and was also a natural athlete and a...

Earl Thomas Conley and Cerebral Atrophy

Earl Thomas Conley was a country music singer-songwriter who during the 1980s and 1990s had 24 Top-10 country singles including 18 that were Number One. Only Alabama and Ronnie Milsap had more number one hits during the decade. This month, at age 77, Conley died after spending many months in hospice care for cerebral atrophy, a condition that had caused progressive loss of memory over several years.

Typhoid Mary’s Gall Bladder

Do you know why a healthy person who makes other people sick may be called a "Typhoid Mary"? There really was a Typhoid Mary. She was an apparently healthy person who caused more than ten documented epidemics of typhoid fever, at least three documented deaths, and probably many more cases that could not be confirmed.

George H.W. Bush and Vascular Parkinsonism

On November 30, 2018 George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the United States, died of vascular Parkinsonism, a disease with many of the same risk factors as those for strokes and a heart attack. However, he did not have the two major risk factors for heart attacks: He was not overweight and he exercised regularly (and vigorously, at least in his younger days).

Why Did Ultimate Warrior Die at 54?

The Ultimate Warrior, one of the most famous professional wrestlers of all time, died of a heart attack at the very young age of 54 on April 8, 2014, just days after he was inducted into the World Wrestling Hall of Fame. He was walking to his car with his wife outside a...

Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Heart Attacks

On January 22, 1973, Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th President of the United States, died at his ranch in Johnson City, Texas, at age 65 from what was probably his fifth heart attack. He was one of the hardest-working presidents ever and could have lived much longer if he had changed the lifestyle factors that caused his first heart attack at age 47.

Eugene O’Neill’s Guilt and Death

Eugene O'Neill, one of America's greatest playwrights, wrote about people who went wrong and asked for forgiveness. An article in the New England Journal of Medicine (April 13, 2000) gives O'Neill the forgiveness that he never requested in his own life time. HE DID NOT DIE OF ALCOHOLIC BRAIN DAMAGE. O'Neill died at age 65...

Jacques Servier and the Fenfluramine Scandal

What would you think about a man who was worth almost eight billion dollars repeatedly denying that his company's weight-loss drug caused heart damage? Fenfluramine was withdrawn from the U.S. market in 1997, but the French parent company, Laboratories Sevier, continued to market its similar product under another brand name until 2009.

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. 

Joan Rivers: No Procedure is Risk-Free

UPDATE - 11/13/14 The New York Department of Health and Human Services has now determined that Joan Rivers died from brain damage caused by lack of oxygen. The report states that her medical records contain discrepancies regarding the dose of propofol she was given before surgery, and that the clinic failed "to ensure that patient...

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.

David Olney: CPR for a Heart Attack

David Olney was a famous singer-songwriter who released more than 20 albums and wrote songs with Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Linda Ronstadt, Steve Young, Del McCoury, Laurie Lewis and many others.

Wilt Chamberlain’s Heart Attack

Wilt Chamberlain was possibly the greatest basketball player and the greatest athlete ever. The 63-year-old Wilt Chamberlain was reported to have died of a heart attack.

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.

William Coley, Quack or Prophet?

I love stories about quacks who become prophets. Medical breakthroughs are often made by doctors who are first ridiculed by their peers. In 1890, Dr. William Coley, a bone surgeon in New York City, found the medical records of a patient who was dying from cancer that had spread through his body and he...

Einstein’s Brilliant Life and Needless Death

Albert Einstein is arguably the most famous and brilliant physicist of all time. In 1933, when he was 54, he held the prestigious title of tenured professor at the Berlin Academy of Sciences. Fortunately for him, when Adolf Hitler came to power, he was travelling to Belgium from the United States....

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...

Babe Didrikson Zaharias, the Best Female Athlete

Babe Didrikson Zaharias was arguably the best female athlete of all time. She played many sports and was better than everyone else in most of them. She entered three events in track and field in the 1932 Olympics and won two and placed second in the third event, the high jump, only...

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.

Naim Suleymanoglu, the Pocket Hercules

Many experts consider Naim Suleymanoglu to be the greatest weightlifter of all time because he set an incredible 46 world records, won three straight Olympic gold medals and won eight world championships.