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Deaths of Famous People

John Harvey Kellogg, Right and Wrong

John Harvey Kellogg was a medical doctor and director of the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan, a hospital, spa and expensive hotel that helped to heal sick people primarily by getting them to eat a plant-based diet. To help people eat more plants, he and his brother, Will Keith Kellogg, invented "Corn Flakes" by putting whole grains though rollers and toasting them.

Regis Philbin’s Lifestyle Changes

Regis Philbin held the Guinness Book of World Records title for the most time spent in front of a television camera -- tallied at 16,343 hours when he retired at age 80 in 2011. He hosted "Live! with Kathie Lee" (which later became "Live! with Regis and Kelly"), "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," "Million Dollar Password," the first season of "America's Got Talent, and many others.

Waylon Jennings’ Years of Pain

Waylon Jennings was a country singer and songwriter who rose from poverty to great wealth and fame, with 54 albums and 96 singles listed among the top sellers between 1966 and 2002. He gave concerts and recorded with most of the popular artists of his time including Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Bobby...

Fred Kummerow, Hero of the Trans Fat Battle

Last week, 102-year-old Fred Kummerow died with arteriosclerosis, a disease that he has spent most of his life working to prevent. He was the first researcher to show that trans fats in margarines and many prepared foods cause plaques to form in arteries, with a paper published in Science in 1957.

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.

Otzi the Iceman and 5,300 Years of the Diseases of Inflammation

In 1991, hikers in the Italian Alps discovered Otzi the Iceman, a man who was preserved in ice after his murder about 5,300 years ago. He was killed by a hard hit on his head and an arrow through his shoulder when he was about 46 years old. He is now entombed at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy with a life-size statue of him as he may have looked standing nearby.

Eartha Kitt: Colon Cancer Even with Low Risk

When Eartha Kitt died at age 81 of colon cancer, her daughter said that, "she ate huge amounts of vegetables and their house in Beverly Hills had a huge vegetable garden as well as an aviary with chickens and roosters.

Tim Conway and Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

Tim Conway starred on television for 40 years, where he played Ensign Parker on McHale's Navy for four years, created an array of comic characters on The Carol Burnett Show for 11 years, and hosted his own variety show for two years.  He received six Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe, a star on Hollywood’s...

Stephen Furst, Flounder, Diabetic at 17

Stephen Furst performed in, directed and produced many movies and television shows, but he is best remembered for his first movie role in 1978 as the loveable, insecure and massively obese "Flounder" in the 1978 hit movie, National Lampoon’s Animal House.

Ray Charles, The Genius

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

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...

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.

Grace Kelly, Death of a Princess

Grace Kelly was a famous Hollywood actress who became Princess Grace of Monaco and died at age 54 after driving a car off a hilly Monaco road. Her father was Jack Kelly, a wealthy Philadelphia construction contractor who was also a three-time Olympic gold medal winner in rowing. Her brother was also...

Stella Walsh, Olympic Female Sprint Champion

Stella Walasiewicz, later known as Stella Walsh, won the women’s 100-meter dash at the 1932 Olympics for Poland. Four years later, at the 1936 Berlin Olympics she took silver, beaten by the American, Helen Stephens. Stephens also set new world records for the 200m and the standing broad jump, and won the shot put. Stella...

Liz Taylor’s Eyelashes: Clue to Rare Genetic Disorder

Elizabeth Taylor was a British-American actress who was famous for more than 50 movies, two Oscars, eight marriages, countless lovers and a net worth at death of more than $600 million. Instead of the normal single row of eyelashes, she had a thick, dark fringe of extra eyelashes that helped to make her one of the most beautiful women in the world. Unfortunately, extra eyelashes are also part of a terrible disease called lymphedema-distichiasis syndrome that is inherited and is caused by a mutation of the FOXC2 gene.

Emile Zola and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Emile Zola was a famous French writer of the late 19th century and perhaps one of the most honorable and courageous men of all time. He repeatedly risked his life to defend Alfred Dreyfus, an innocent man who was falsely accused by corrupt French military and government officials of spying for...

Rose Knox: Profit from Brittle Nails

Rose Markward was born in Mansfield, Ohio in 1857. At the age of 26, she married a salesman named Charles B. Knox and moved to his hometown of Johnstown, New York, which had many tanneries and therefore also had many slaughterhouses. Slaughterhouse waste — hooves, tendons, intestines and bones — was very cheap, and...

Bruce Lee: Fists of Fury

Bruce Lee was the most influential martial artist of the 20th century. In the 1970's, his fame as a movie star and martial arts instructor sparked North American interest in Asian martial arts. At age 32, he died suddenly from massive swelling of his brain, most likely caused by a rare reaction to aspirin....

Jean Harlow, the Blonde Bombshell

Jean Harlow was voted one of the greatest actresses of the 1930s Golden Age by the American Film Institute and was the first movie actress to be on the cover of Life Magazine, even though she was a film actress for only 10 years and appeared in only 41 movies. She died...

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.

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.

Hal Connolly, from Disabled Child to Olympic Gold

Harold Connolly was born with only one functioning arm. Because of that he had to fight to be accepted, so he worked harder than everyone else. He became such a fierce competitor in the hammer throw that he won a gold medal in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. He was the first American to...

Ted Williams, the Greatest Hitter

He was arguably the greatest baseball batter ever. He played 19 years for the Boston Red Sox and every one of those 19 years, he was an American League All-Star. In 1941, he had a batting average of 406, which remains the highest batting average in the major leagues since 1924 and at that time, it was 45 points higher than any other player in the league. He also led the league in runs scored, home runs, walks, getting on base and slugging percentage.

Roger Bannister, First Sub-4-Minute Miler

Roger Bannister was the first human to run a mile in less than four minutes, even though his training was totally inadequate for world-class competition because he was a full time medical student who trained on a single 30-minute workout per day, compared to today's runners who train twice a day for as much as three hours.

Gordie Howe, the Toughest Athlete

National Hockey League All-Star Gordie Howe was arguably the best hockey player ever because he was stronger, faster and more pugnacious than everyone else. He played professional hockey for fifty 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.

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...

Alan Turing, Code Breaker and Computer Genius

This week, the Bank of England unveiled its new 50-pound note that features the brilliant World War II codebreaker Alan Turing. The 50-pound note is the highest denomination in circulation and its new design honoring Turing completes the change from paper to polymer currencies that include Winston Churchill on the five-pound note, author Jane Austen on the 10-pound note and artist J. M. W. Turner on the 20-pound note. Turing was selected by more than 250,000 public votes, an effort to atone for the unbelievable cruelty and prejudice against gay people that led Turing to suicide.

Alan Thicke and Aortic Dissection

On Dec. 13, 2016, at age 69, Alan Thicke collapsed while playing ice hockey with his 19-year-old son and died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm after first being diagnosed as having had a heart attack at a Burbank CA hospital.

David Bowie’s Liver Cancer

David Bowie died on January 10, 2016, of liver cancer just two days after his 69th birthday. Popular musicians have lifestyles laden with risk factors for liver cancer, heart attacks and other causes of premature death: drugs, heavy smoking, alcohol, and crazy schedules that make it impossible to eat healthfully, exercise or sleep regularly. Early Life