Singer Warren Zevon and other Well Known Victims of Asbestos Diseases

Asbestos-related diseases strike people from all walks of life.

Thousands and thousands of everyday people have died from the agonizing diseases caused by exposure to asbestos, many of the victims from unknowingly having been exposed to the dangerous, microscopic mineral in the workplace, during home renovations, in the military, at home through contact with the work clothes of family members and in countless other situations. Sometimes the exposure source is never discovered.

Diseases like mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer from asbestos have also caused fatalities among famous people from all walks of life. Coverage of their stories in the media and efforts by surviving loved ones have helped to raise awareness and money as well as spur advocacy for more regulation, medical research and legal remedies for victims and their families.

Jordan Zevon, the son of 1970s rocker, Grammy recipient and 2003 mesothelioma victim Warren Zevon, recently held the annual Hollywood concert in his father's memory to raise money for asbestos advocacy. Jordan, who according to has the personal goal of reaching a total ban on the mineral, is a spokesman for the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization or ADAO, which also hosted the event, along with George Gruel, Warren's former manager.

Other famous people who died from asbestos-related illnesses include:

  • Actor Steve McQueen of mesothelioma, possibly from asbestos exposure in the Marines and in flame-retardant race-car driver suits
  • Athlete and actor Merlin Olsen
  • Notre Dame Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Lattner of pleural (of the lining of the lungs) mesothelioma, allegedly from exposure in summer college jobs and in the Air Force
  • Jazz musician Joe Sample of mesothelioma
  • Actor and AIDS advocate Sean Sasser of mesothelioma
  • Actor Ed Lauter of mesothelioma
  • Minnesota Congressman Bruce Vento of mesothelioma
  • White House Chief of Staff Hamilton Jordan, under Jimmy Carter, of mesothelioma
  • Olympic wrestler Terry McCann of mesothelioma from asbestos exposure in oil refinery work
  • Architect Paul Rudolph of peritoneal (of the lining of the abdomen) mesothelioma
  • Designer and Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren
  • Actor Paul Gleason of pleural mesothelioma
  • Politician Ron Cyrus of mesothelioma, father of Billy Ray Cyrus
  • Columnist Army Archerd of mesothelioma from asbestos exposure in the military

Unfortunately, since asbestos-related illnesses can take decades to manifest after exposure to the mineral, well known people will likely continue to develop them, as will many people who may not be well known outside their own circles of family and friends, but who also will not have deserved such heartbreaking diagnoses.

Anyone suffering from an asbestos-related illness or who has lost a loved one to one of these diseases should contact a personal injury attorney to understand what legal options for recovery are available.

The lawyers of Brayton Purcell LLP with offices in California, Oregon, Washington and Utah represent asbestos victims across the nation in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.