Famous People's Cause of Death Leo Tolstoy

About the famous Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, biography, history and cause of death.



Born: Aug. 28, 1828

Died: Nov. 7, 1910

Cause of Death: Pneumonia

Physician's Notes: The influential prophet and creator of the Russian epic novel, epitomized by War and Peace, contracted a venereal infection when he was 24. At the outset of his writing career, he suffered from rheumatism, toothaches, enteritis, and mysterious spells of weakness. It was once said of Tolstoi that he had "sinews of steel, and the nerves of a fainting female." He watched his two brothers die slowly of tuberculosis and spent most of his life in fear of contracting the dread disease. During a 10-month period in 1901 and 1902, he survived an acute attack of malaria, a serious infection in both lungs, and typhoid fever. In 1908 he had a series of minor strokes and developed phlebitis. Two years later, distraught over a critical domestic situation, the 82-year-old Tolstoi boarded a train to run away. A sudden chill caused him to disembark at Astapovo, where he developed pneumonia and died in the stationmaster's room, refusing to allow his wife to visit him. As he had requested, he was buried on his estate, Yasnaya Polyana, at the spot where his brother Nikolai once claimed to have buried a little green stick on which was written the secret of universal love and understanding.

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