Famous People Who've Suffered Strokes

  • Dick Clark
    Dick Clark
    An American television icon, Dick Clark became famous as the creator and host of "American Bandstand." Following his stroke in 2004, he continued to host "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" and inspired millions with his strength until his death in April 2012.  ​

  • President Gerald Ford
    President Gerald Ford
    Before becoming the 38th U.S. President, Ford was a star on the University of Michigan football team and a lieutenant commander in the Navy during WWII. He suffered a stroke during the 2000 Republican Convention at age 87. Other U.S. presidents who have experienced a stroke: Thomas Jefferson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Ford's predecessor, Richard Nixon.

  • Della Reese
    Della Reese
    The former "Touched by an Angel" star survived an aneurysm during an appearance on "The Tonight Show." When a blood vessel burst in her brain, it turned into a hemorrhagic stroke. Later, she became a spokeswoman for the National Stroke Association. Reese passed in November 2017.

  • Charles Dickens Plaque in London
    Charles Dickens
    Born in 1812, Dickens was the mind behind great literary works including "Oliver Twist," "Great Expectations," and "A Tale of Two Cities." He suffered a stroke on June 8, 1870, at age 58 and died the next day.

  • Charles Schulz
    Charles Schulz
    At one point, more than 150 million newspaper readers followed this cartoonist's "Peanuts" gang. In 1999, at age 77, Schulz retired after suffering a stroke and being diagnosed with colon cancer. Schulz's cartoon collections have sold more than 300 million copies in 26 languages.

  • Ted Williams
    Ted Williams
    The Boston Red Sox slugger had his finest year in 1941, when he hit .406. He ended his 21-year career with the team in 1960. Six years later, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Williams suffered a stroke in 1994 and lived until 2002. He is still a Boston legend.

  • photograph of Hugh Hefner
    Hugh Hefner
    The controversial magazine publisher who launched the Playboy media empire in his late 20s suffered a stroke in his late 50s. He later described this incident in 1985 as a "stroke of luck" for how it changed the direction of his life. A few years after the stroke, the famous bachelor married, though that marriage officially ended in 2010. He lived until 2017.

Famous People Who've Suffered Strokes

About The Author

  1. Mass Moments. Ted Williams Bats for the Last Time. September 28, 1960, Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities (http://massmoments.org/moment.cfm?mid=281); Mary Kay Ash, Founder of Cosmetics Empire, Dies at 83, The Dallas Morning News (http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-80254816.html);
  2. Remembering Mary Kay’s Life, Mary Kay (http://www.marykaytribute.com/HerLife.aspx);
  3. A Stroke Couldn’t Stop Gerald Ford, NPR (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6686183);
  4. Charles Dickens Biography, PBS (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/dickens/dickens.html);
  5. Understanding Stroke. It’s a Brain Attack! National Stroke Association (http://www.stroke.org/site/DocServer/Brainiac_Kids_Presentation.ppt?docID=4602);
  6. Dick Clark Auction Will Benefit Charities, National Stroke Association (http://www.stroke.org/site/MessageViewer?em_id=2181.0);
  7. Della Reese: Help May Be Just Down the Street, Stroke Smart Magazine and National Stroke Association (http://www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=SS_MAG_mj2006_feature_della);
  8. What Is a Stroke/Brain Attack? National Stroke Association (http://www.strokesmart.org/pdfs/NSA_complete_guide.pdf);
  9. Passages: The Life and Times of Charles Schulz, D. Michaelis, Time (http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,93141,00.html);
  10. Gerald Ford, The White House (http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/geraldford);
  11. Mr. Hefner’s Biography. HMH Foundation. http://hmhfoundation.org/site/?page_id=20

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Last Review Date: 2019 May 23
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