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I am compiling a bit of a list:

  1. Ayatollah Khomeini; (Died from intestinal bleeding, most Iranians have HP).

  2. Lorne Greene; (Of Bonanza fame. Died from peptic ulcers and pneumonia complication, I only know what I saw on the cover of National Enquirer).

  3. James Joyce; (Family history of stomach cancer and died of a perforated ulcer as per your letter). Most people born before 1940 would have had HP as adults, especially in Ireland.

  4. George Bush; (At one time in the 60's had a duodenal ulcer; lots of men in the CIA have HP because they have lived overseas, particularly Latin America.)

  5. Pope John Paul II; (Had gastric bleeding in the 1980's. Most Poles have HP).

  6. Imelda Marcos; (Had gastritis and gastric bleeding during her N.Y. court case; most Filipinos have HP).

  7. Stonewall Jackson; (Was known as a terribly grumpy dyspeptic by his doctor!). HP infection rate was very high in USA before 1900.

  8. My great grandfather. (A Scott. Bled to death in hospital with a duodenal ulcer. Family blamed his fondness of citrus fruit!)

  9. My father in-law; (Gastric problems ever since WW2. Blamed army food! Better since treated for HP in 1993!)

  10. Alfred Nobel.  According to his biographer, he complained of chronic indigestion, headaches and depression.  His treatment, if it could be called that, consisted of baths, resting and drinking special types of mineral water especially at health spas.  For want of a better diagnosis, many attributed his complaints to stress, based on the spurious concept that mental activity can lead directly to elevated levels of stomach acid and other organic conditions.  Trying to sum up his life in one terse sentence, he offered the following: "I am a misanthrope and yet utterly benevolent, have more than one screw loose yet am a super-idealist who digests philosophy more efficiently than food."  Reflecting on these matters, we can assume that he was infected with Helicobacter pylori, as were most people in Europe at the turn of the century.  So it is appropriate that this man, who probably suffered Helicobacter pylori based duodenal ulcer disease, has now awarded a prize for the ulcer-causing bacterium.  Alas, the Marshall and Warren prize was 110 years too late to help the philanthropic Mr Nobel.  Read more about his health at this link.

  11. Charles Darwin. Even before his famous voyage, Darwin was squeamish, although many attributed his nausea to sea-sickness which, for some reason, persisted.  He pent the rest of his life vomiting and complaining of gastronitestinal upsets.  He did have many other symptoms but he always focussed on his stomach as the major organ involved.  On the last day of his Life, Charles Darwin vomited some blood then died a few hours later.  In the 21st century, if darwin presented to a general practitioner, he would immediately have a Helicobacter serology and/or a urea breath test performed and then would be treated with antibiotics.  Further symptoms would have been investigated with an endoscopy.  At a time when almost everyone was infected with H.pylori, peptic ulcer could only be diagnosed at post mortem or if a patient suffered from G.I. bleeding.  So Charles Darwin had Helicobacter and hardly needed any other cause to explain his symptoms.  Other theories about his illness were concocted before H.pylori was discovered.  The origin of the species which troubled Darwin was probabaly Helicobacter pylori.  I will add to this on my blogspot page ( http://barryjmarshall.blogspot.com/ ).