Retired Navy SEAL, & # 39; survivor & # 39; Fan favorite Rudy Boesch died at the age of 91
Rudy Boesch, a retired Navy SEAL who became a fan favorite in the first season of "Survivor", has died following a battle against Alzheimer's disease. He was 91.
Boesch died peacefully on Friday night at the Virginia Beach, Virginia hospice, surrounded by relatives, said Steve Gonzalez, Operations Director of the SEAL Veterans Foundation.
"He was a legend in the SEAL teams long before" Survivor, "Gonzalez said." Rudy was loved by everyone and will be greatly missed. "
Boesch was part of the debut cast of" Survivor "in 2000 Boesch was the oldest candidate on the CBS show at the age of 72. He proved as popular as a straightforward but amiable character to be invited to the eighth season "Survivor: All Stars." [1
9659005SurvivorAllstarRudyBoeschVisits”Survivor All-Stars” finale on May 9, 2004, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)”/>
Survivor Allstar Rudy Boesch The Survivor All-Stars Final on May 9, 2004 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne / Getty Images)
He and his competitor Richard Hatch, who later won the opening season, became friends and formed an alliance.
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Hatch confirmed on Saturday an "interesting bond" with "Dear Rudy" prejudices, "he tweeted Time has passed here, stay beloved and famous, dear friend! "
Another" Survivor "candidate, Jonny Fairplay, confirmed Boesch's death and tweeted about the" legend "on Saturday.
Boesch joined Navy in 1944 and became one of the first SEALs in 1962. He served two combat tours during the Vietnam War, earned a bronze star for heroism, and retired from the Navy in 1990 as Master Chief Petty Officer.
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Prior to retirement, Boesch was honored as a "Chief SEAL" or "Bullfrog." The title marks his time as the longest active SEAL . He stayed after leaving the navy and serving on the board of the UDT SEAL Association.
Boesch's 53-year-old wife Marjorie Thomas died in 2008. They have three daughters. Mourning arrangements were not announced immediately on Saturday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.