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'Survivor' Contestant Rudy Boesch Dies After Revealing Alzheimer's Diagnosis

Update: On Nov. 2, 2019, former “Survivor” contestant Rudy Boesch died at 91, according to TMZ. He originally competed on the first season of the popular reality competition series. His family revealed he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in August. 

Rudy Boesch, a contestant on the first season of the reality TV series “Survivor,” has Alzheimer’s disease, his daughter confirmed Thursday.

She told TMZ he is residing in an assisted living facility in Virginia Beach and needs around-the-clock care, but he is not currently at the end stage of the condition. Boesch is 91. The news comes after rumors began circulating he had died.

Boesch is the oldest person to play “Survivor” — at the time “Survivor: Borneo” aired in 2000, he was 72. He later competed on “Survivor: All Stars” in 2004 at age 75. He placed third on “Survivor: Borneo” and was voted out second on “Survivor: All Stars.”

On “Survivor: Borneo,” the retired Navy SEAL was known for his gruff, tough disposition and alliance with Richard Hatch, who went on to win the season.

Some of Boesch’s fellow “Survivor” castaways reacted to the news on social media:

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive condition that affects your memory, thinking and behavior. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. People with Alzheimer’s live on average four to eight years after diagnosis, but can live up to 20 years, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

For more insight into the Alzheimer’s experience, check out these stories from our Mighty community:

Photo courtesy of The National Navy UDT SEAL Museum Facebook page