Famous People's Cause of Death Marcel Proust

About the famous writer Marcel Proust, biography, history and cause of death.



Born: July 10, 1871

Died: Nov. 18, 1922

Cause of Death: Lifelong bout with asthma

Physician's Notes: The sensitive and observant author of Remembrance of Things Past was born a weakling and almost died from his first attack of asthma at age nine. He was allergic to flowers, pollen, dust, perfume, smoke, dampness, and cold, and his attacks could also be triggered by emotional upsets. Between 1892 and 1900, his asthma attacks (largely psychosomatic) increased, and because they were less severe at night, he began a nocturnal existence. In the winter he slept fully clothed, and even in summer wore sweaters, mufflers, stockings, gloves, and a nightcap to bed. He became so obsessed with his asthmatic condition that he often used more than 20 towels after bathing to avoid having a damp towel touch his body. By 1912 he was living in bed, riding the sedative-stimulant merry-go-round. In 1922 he suffered uremia, vertigo, speech difficulty, and an attack of bronchitis. On Nov. 18, 1922, while struggling for breath, he hallucinated that a large black woman was chasing him. Shortly after, he succumbed to the illness that had plagued him all of his life.

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