Famous People's Cause of Death Lafcadio Hearn

About the famous writer Lafcadio Hearn or Yakumo Koizumi, biography, history and cause of death.

POSTMORTEMS--WHAT THEY DIED FROM

LAFCADIO HEARN (YAKUMO KOIZUMI)

Born: June 27, 1850

Died: Sept. 26, 1904

Cause of Death: Heart attack

Physician's Notes: Famous for the flawless style in his books on the West Indies and Japan, this American--born in England and later a Japanese citizen--was maimed in a freak accident. At age 16, while playing a game, he was struck in the face. Severely damaged, his left eye was never properly treated, and the cornea became permanently coated with a milky film which caused blindness. Addicted to reading. Hearn put his good eye under such strain that it swelled to twice its normal size and protruded from the socket grotesquely. Covering the yellow fever epidemic in New Orleans in 1884, he escaped the dread malady but contracted breakbone fever, which left him exhausted and further weakened his eyesight. While he was teaching in Japan in the 1890s, his eyesight became so poor that he was forced to write with his "good" eye only 3 in. from the paper. In 1904, overworked, undernourished, and fearing the end of his life was near, he instructed his eldest child, "Put my bones in a jar worth about three sen and bury me in some temple on a hill." A short while later he was dead from a heart attack.

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