Thursday, March 11, 2010

Merlin Olsen Dies of Mesothelioma Cancer

Merlin Olsen Dies of Mesothelioma Cancer. Merlin Olsen, whose football career took him from the park across the street from his boyhood home in Logan to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, died of Mesothelioma cancer early Thursday at a Los Angeles-area hospital. Olsen, 69, was being treated for mesothelioma, a cancer of the lung lining, during the past year. Olsen recently sued NBC Studios and other companies, alleging that exposure to asbestos caused his illness.

Olsen was an All-American at Utah State and a first-round draft pick of the Los Angles Rams in 1962. Olsen’s alma mater, said he died outside of Los Angeles. He was diagnosed last year with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lung lining often linked to asbestos. He filed a lawsuit last year, claiming he contracted the disease as a result of being exposed to asbestos on construction sites where he worked as a child and young adult.

Utah State honored Olsen in December by naming the football field at Romney Stadium “Merlin Olsen Field.” Because of his illness of Mesothelioma, Olsen’s alma mater didn’t want to wait until football season and made the announcement during halftime of a basketball game.

Olsen was well enough to attend, but did not speak at the event. He stood and smiled as he waved to fans during a standing ovation and chants of “Merlin Olsen!” and “Aggie Legend!”

Utah State is also planning a statue of Olsen at the southeast corner of the stadium.

The Rams also honored Olsen during a game Dec. 20, with a video tribute narrated by Dick Enberg, Olsen’s longtime broadcast partner. Olsen did not attend because of his health. His name was already part of the Ring of Fame inside the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis along with other franchise standouts.

He was voted NFC defensive lineman of the year in 1973 and the NFL MVP in 1974, and was voted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982. Brothers Phil and Orrin also played in the NFL.

Merlin Olsen has died of Mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer he could not defeat. He was pronounced dead today in California. Olsen will be remembered as one of the Los Angeles Rams Fearsome Foursome, but he also was a TV actor and commentator.

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer in which cancerous cells are produced in the mesothelium, the protective membrane that covers all of our internal organs. Statistics say that this type of cancer is shown in 2,000 people each year in America. Although it has been found in people of both sexes and all ages, it seems thie highest part of patients are men, and the risk increases with age.

Rest in Peace Merlin Olsen. Those were the news on Merlin Olsen Mesothelioma.

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