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Former Navy SEAL Rudy Boesch, an early fan favorite on ‘Survivor,’ dies at 91

Retired Master Chief Petty Officer Rudy Boesch, 76, joined the military in 1945, when he was 17.

GREG TYLER / S&S

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: November 2, 2019

Rudy Boesch, a retired, tough-as-nails Navy SEAL and fan favorite on the inaugural season of “Survivor,” has died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 91.

Steve Gonzalez, director of operations for the Seal Veterans Foundation, said Boesch died peacefully Friday night in hospice care in Virginia Beach, Va. He was surrounded by loved ones.

Boesch joined the Navy in 1944 and retired in 1990. He completed two tours in Vietnam and received a Bronze Star.

He was 72 when he took third place on CBS’s “Survivor.” He proved to be so popular as a no-nonsense, loveable character that he was invited back for the eighth season, “Survivor: All Stars.”

Gonzalez called Boesch a “legend in the SEAL Teams.”

Funeral arrangements were not announced immediately.

From left, Sgt. Maj. Grant VanOostrom and Sgt. Maj. Roland Daniel check out the medals worn by Rudy Boesch, a contestant on the first season of the TV show "Survivor," Friday night at Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station's Navy Ball in 2010.
GREG TYLER/STARS AND STRIPES

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