Tag Archives: USMC

Chesty Puller

Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller was born on June 26, 1898 in West Point, Virginia.  His father was a grocer who died when Chesty was 10 years old.  He grew up listening to old veterans’ tales of the Civil War and idolizing Stonewall Jackson.  He wanted to enlist in the Army to fight in the Border War with Mexico in 1916, but he was too young and his mother wouldn’t give parental consent.

The following year, Chesty attended the Virginia Military Institute but left in August 1918 as World War I was still ongoing.  He was inspired by the 5th Marines at Belleau Wood He enlisted in the Marine Corps as a private and attended boot camp at the MCRD, Parris Island.

He never saw action in World War I, but the Marine Corps was expanding, and after graduating from recruit training he attended non-commissioned officer school and Officer Candidates School (OCS) at Quantico, Virginia.  He graduated from OCS on June 16, 1919 and was appointed a second lieutenant in the reserves.  With the end of WWI, the Corps experienced a quick reduction in force from 73,000 Marines to 28,500 Marines (only 1,100 officers and 27,400 enlisted).  Chesty was put on inactive status and given the rank of corporal.

Soon after, Corporal Puller received orders to serve in Haiti.  While the United States was working under a treaty with Haiti, he participated in over forty engagements during the next five years against the Caco rebels and attempted to regain his commission as an officer twice.  During his time in Haiti, in 1922, he served as an adjutant to Major Alexander Vandegrift.

On March 6, 1924, he returned stateside and was finally recommissioned as a second lieutenant.  He was then assigned at Marine Barracks in Norfolk, Virginia, The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, and with the 10th Marine Artillery Regiment in Quantico, Virginia, Marine Barracks in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in July 1926 and in San Diego, California, in 1928.

In December 1928, Puller was assigned to the Nicaraguan National Guard detachment, where he was awarded his first Navy Cross for actions from February 16 to August 19, 1930, when he led “five successive engagements against superior numbers of armed bandit forces.”  He returned stateside in July 1931 and completed the year-long Company Officers Course at Fort Benning, Georgia.  He then returned to Nicaragua from September 20 to October 1, 1932, and was awarded a second Navy Cross.  Chesty led American Marines and Nicaraguan National Guardsmen into battle against Sandinista rebels in the Sandino Rebellion near El Sauce on December 26, 1932.

After his service in Nicaragua, Chesty was assigned to the Marine detachment at the American Legation in Beijing, China, commanding a unit of China Marines.  He then went on to serve aboard USS Augusta, which was commanded by Captain Chester W. Nimitz. Chesty returned to the States in June 1936 and was assigned to instructor duty at The Basic School in Philadelphia.

In May 1939, he returned to the USS Augusta, as the commander of troops for the Marine detachment.  They headed back to China in May of 1940 and he served as the executive officer and commanding officer of 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, until August 1941.  Major Puller returned to the U.S. on August 28, 1941.  After a short leave period, he was given command of 1st Battalion, 7th Marines (1/7) of the 1st Marine Division, stationed at New River, North Carolina.

Early in the Pacific theater the 7th Marines formed the nucleus of the newly created 3rd Marine Brigade and arrived to defend Samoa on May 8, 1942.  Later they were redeployed from the brigade and on September 4, 1942, they left Samoa and rejoined the 1st Marine Division at Guadalcanal on September 18, 1942.

Soon after arriving on Guadalcanal, Chesty led his battalion in a fierce action along the Matanikau, in which his quick thinking saved three of his companies from annihilation.  The three companies were surrounded and cut off by a larger Japanese force.  Chesty ran to the shore, signaled the USS Ballard (DD-267)and then directed the Ballard to provide fire support while landing craft rescued his Marines.  U.S. Coast Guard Signalman First Class Douglas Albert Munro was the Officer-in-Charge of the group of landing craft and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions.  To date Munro is the only Coast Guardsman to receive the decoration. Chesty was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat “V”.

Later on Guadalcanal, Chesty was awarded his third Navy Cross, in what was later known as the “Battle for Henderson Field“.  He commanded 1st Battalion 7th Marines (1/7), one of two American infantry units defending the airfield against a regiment sized Japanese force.  The 3rd Battalion of the U.S. Army’s 164th Infantry Regiment (3/164) fought alongside the Marines.  In a firefight on the night of October 24–25, 1942, lasting about three hours, 1/7 and 3/164 sustained 70 casualties; the Japanese force suffered over 1,400 killed in action, and the Americans held the airfield. He nominated two of his men (one being Sgt. John Basilone) for Medals of Honor.  He was wounded himself on November 9, 1942.

Chesty was then assigned to be the executive officer of the 7th Marine Regiment.  While serving in this capacity at Cape Gloucester, he was awarded his fourth Navy Cross for overall performance of duty between December 26, 1943, and January 19, 1944.  During this time, when the battalion commanders of 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines (3/7) and later, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines (3/5), were under heavy machine gun and mortar fire, he reorganized the battalion and led the successful attack against heavily fortified Japanese defensive positions.  He was promoted to Colonel effective February 1, 1944, and by the end of the month had been named commander of the 1st Marine Regiment.  In September and October 1944, Puller led the 1st Marine Regiment into the Battle of Peleliu, one of the bloodiest battles in Marine Corps history; it was here that he received his first of two Legion of Merit awards.  The 1st Marines under his command lost 1,749 out of approximately 3,000 men, but these losses did not stop him from ordering frontal assaults against the well-entrenched enemy.  The Commandant of the Marine Corps, (General Alexander Vandegrift) had to order the Commanding General (Major General William H. Rupertus) of 1st Marine Division to pull the 1st Marine Regiment out of the battle.

Chesty returned to the United States in November 1944 and was assigned as the executive officer of the Infantry Training Regiment at Camp Lejeune and two weeks later he became the Commanding Officer.  After the war, he was made director of the 8th Reserve District at New Orleans, and later commanded the Marine Barracks at Pearl Harbor.

At the outbreak of the Korean War, Chesty was again assigned as commander of the First Marine Regiment.  He participated in the landing at Inchon on September 15, 1950, and was awarded the Silver Star Medal and was awarded his second Legion of Merit for his leadership from September 15 through November 2.  He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross from the U.S. Army for heroism in action from November 29 to December 4, and he was awarded his fifth Navy Cross for heroism during December 5–10, 1950, at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.  It was during that battle that he said the famous line, “We’ve been looking for the enemy for some time now. We’ve finally found him. We’re surrounded. That simplifies things.”

In January 1951, Chesty was promoted to brigadier general and assigned as the assistant division commander of 1st Marine Division.  On May 20, 1951, he became the commanding officer of the 3rd Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California until January 1952, and was then assistant commander until June 1952.  He then took over Troop Training Unit Pacific at Coronado, California and in September of 1953, he was promoted to major general.

In July 1954, Chesty took command of the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina until February 1955 when he became deputy camp commander.  He suffered a stroke, and with 37 years of service he was retired from the Marine Corps on November 1, 1955 with a tombstone promotion to lieutenant general.

Chesty is the most decorated Marine in American history.  He is one of two U.S. servicemen to be awarded five Navy Crosses and with the Distinguished Service Cross awarded to him by the U.S. Army, his total of six stands only behind Eddie Rickenbacker‘s eight times receiving the nation’s second-highest military award for valor.

Chesty passed away on October 11, 1971 at the age of 73, in Hampton, Virginia.  He was an Episcopalian and parishioner of Christ Church Parish and is buried in the historic cemetery next to his wife Virginia Montague Evans, who passed away in 2006, at the age of 97.

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Drew Carey

Drew Carey was born on May 23, 1958, and grew up in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio.  He graduated from James Ford Rhodes High School in 1975 and then  attended Kent State University.  He left Kent State after three years and enlisted into the Marine Corps Reserves in 1979 and served for four years with Headquarters and Services Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, as a field radio operator.

In 1985, Drew began his comedy career by following up on a suggestion by David Lawrence, a disc jockey friend who had been paying Drew to write jokes for David’s radio show in Cleveland.  The following year, Drew won an open-mic contest and became Master of Ceremonies at the Cleveland Comedy Club.  He performed at comedy clubs over the next few years in Cleveland and Los Angeles.

Drew first came into the national spotlight when he competed in the 1988 series of Star Search.  He then appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in November 1991.  His performance impressed Johnny, who invited Drew to sit on the couch next to his desk; this was considered a rare honor for any comedian.  In that same year, Drew joined the 14th Annual Young Comedians Special on HBO and made his first appearance on Late Night with David Letterman.  In 1994, Carey wrote his own stand-up comedy special, Drew Carey: Human Cartoon, which aired on Showtime and won a CableACE Award for Best Writing

Drew has appeared in several films, television series, music videos, a made-for-television film, and a computer game.  He has hosted The Price Is Right since 2007 on CBS.  He is interested in a variety of sports, and has worked as a photographer at U.S. National Team soccer games, and is a minority owner of the Major League Soccer team Seattle Sounders FC.  Drew has written an autobiography, Dirty Jokes and Beer: Stories of the Unrefined, detailing his early life and television career.

Please visit the SuccessfulMarines PX to purchase Drew Carey products.

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Harvey Keitel

Harvey Keitel was born on May 13, 1939 in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Miriam and Harry Keitel, Jewish immigrants from Romania and Poland, respectively.  His parents owned and ran a luncheonette and his father also worked as a hat maker.

Harvey grew up in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, with his sister and brother.  He attended Abraham Lincoln High School and Alexander Hamilton Vocational School, but dropped out to join the Marines in 1956.  While serving with 2nd Marine Division as a rifleman fire team leader, his service took him to Lebanon, during Operation Blue Bat.

Harvey’s time in the Marines made a huge influence on his life and helped shape many of his perspectives.  During training at night combat school, he mentioned being afraid of the dark.  An instructor told him that everyone is afraid of the dark because people are afraid of the unknown, and he would teach him how to handle it. Harvey took the lesson to heart and extended it to other areas of his life over the years.

After his discharge he returned to New York and worked as a court stenographer for several years and was able to support himself before beginning his acting career when he joined the New York’s Actors Studio.  His persistence paid off, and he began landing roles in live theater.

His film career took off with Martin Scorsese‘s 1967 “Who’s That Knocking at My Door.”  The actor and director hit it off, and Harvey returned in future Scorsese films.

Harvey’s film career now has 150 credits as an actor, and five as a producer, spanning from 1966 – present day, he is still active in Hollywood and working on several projects, with his latest films including “Chosen“, “The Ridiculous 6“, and “The Comedian.”  He credits time serving the Marine Corps for his success and professionalism within the film industry.

Check out the SuccessfulMarine PX for Harvey Keitel’s films and other products.

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Donald Bren

Donald Bren was born on May 11, 1932, in Los Angeles, California.  His father Milton was a naval officer, talent agent, real estate developer, and successful movie producer.

Donald attended the University of Washington, on a skiing scholarship and earned a degree in business administration and economics.  After graduation he and then served for three years as an officer in the Marine Corps.

He began his business career at the age of 25, in 1958 when he founded the Bren Company, which built homes in Orange County, California.  He built his first house in Newport Beach with a $10,000 loan.

In 1963, he and two others started the Mission Viejo Company (MVC) and purchased 11,000 acres to plan and develop the city of Mission Viejo, California.  Donald was President of MVC from 1963 to 1967.  International Paper bought Bren Co. for $34 million in 1970, and then sold it back to Donald for $22 million in 1972 following the recession.  He took the proceeds and in 1977 joined a group of investors to purchase the 146-year-old Irvine Company,

The historic Irvine Company dates back to 1864, and has been the master planner and master builder of the 93,000 acre Irvine Ranch since 1960.  This purchase made him the largest shareholder of the company, owning 34.3% and gave him the title of Vice-chair of the board.  By 1983, he was the majority owner of the firm and was elected chairman of the board.  By 1996, he bought out all outstanding shares to become the sole owner.

In 2005, OC Weekly wrote that Bren “wields more power than Howard Hughes ever did, probably as much as any man in America over a concentrated region—determining not only how people live and shop but who governs them.”  In 2006 the Los Angeles Times said that Orange County looks like Orange County because of Donald Bren.  In its 2015 edition of, “The 400 Richest Americans“, Forbes ranked Donald as the wealthiest real estate developer in the US and 30th “Richest American” with an estimated net worth of $15.2 billion. Today, he is number 29 on the Forbes 400 list.

The Irvine Company now owns several hotels, marinas, golf courses, 60,000 apartments, more than 40 shopping centres and 500 office buildings make up the property portfolio, with the majority located in Southern California. .

In 2008, BusinessWeek named Bren one of the top ten philanthropists in the nation, with his contributions to various causes such as education, conservation and research among other areas exceeding $1 billion.

You can read more about Donald by visiting: The Irvine Company and by visiting the SuccessfulMarines PX for products related to Donald’s successful career.

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Bea Arthur

Beatrice Arthur, originally Bernice Frankel was born on May 13, 1922, in Brooklyn, New York.  In 1933, the Frankel family relocated to Cambridge, Maryland, where her parents operated a clothing shop.  She attended Linden Hall School for Girls, the oldest girls’ boarding school in the United States.  She then enrolled at Blackstone College for Girls in Blackstone, Virginia, where she was active in the drama program.

Her employment after attending Blackstone College for Girls, included working as a food analyst at a Maryland packing plant; a hospital lab technician, and an office worker at a New York loan company.  She was due to start another job when she heard that the Marine Corps had opened enlistments to women.   She decided to join, with hopes of going into ground aviation. She went to basic training in March 1943, at the age of 21.

During her service she worked as a typist and a truck driver and had assignments at Marine headquarters in Washington, D.C., a Navy air station in Virginia and Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina.  A year into her enlistment, she married a fellow Marine, Private Robert Aurthur, in a ceremony presided over by a city judge in Ithaca, New York.  She then formally had her named changed to Bernice Aurthur.  She completed her two years of service, achieving the rank of staff sergeant before being honorably discharged in September 1945.

After her discharge she changed her name to Bea Arthur, as she started her career in acting.  In 1947 she studied at the Dramatic Workshop of The New School in New York with German director Erwin Piscator.  Bea began her acting career as a member at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City.

She continued with acting roles on and off Broadway throughout the 1950s and 1960s.  She was then invited by Norman Lear to guest-star on his sitcom All in the Family, as Maude Findlay, an outspoken liberal feminist.  Her performance eventually led to her own series as the character and earned her several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, including an Emmy win in 1977, for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

Her acting career included other less known television shows and movies until she landed a role in 1985 for The Golden Girls, the series remained on the top-ten with ratings, for six out of the seven seasons.  Baa’s performance led to several Emmy nominations over the course of the series and an Emmy win in 1988.

In 1992, she decided to leave The Golden Girls.  She made several guest appearances on shows and toured in her one-woman show, titled An Evening with Bea Arthur, as well as And Then There’s Bea.

Bea died from cancer, at her home in the Sullivan Canyon section of Brentwood, California on April 25, 2009.   She is survived by her two sons and two granddaughters.

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Don Adams

Donald James Yarmy, professionally known as Don Adams, was an American actor, comedian, and director.   Born on, April 13, 1923, in Manhattan, New York.  He dropped out of DeWitt Clinton High School and worked as a theater usher.

During World War II, he joined the Marine Corps and participated in the Battle of Guadalcanal, when his service ended from being shot in combat and contracting blackwater fever, a serious complication of malaria.  He was evacuated and hospitalized for more than a year at a Navy hospital in Wellington, New Zealand.  After his recovery, he served as a drill instructor.

After his service, he began a career as a stand-up comic, taking the stage name of Adams after marrying singer Adelaide (Dell) Efantis, who performed as Adelaide Adams. They had four daughters, and Adams also worked as a commercial artist and restaurant cashier to help support his family.  When they divorced, he kept Adams as his stage name because acting auditions were often held in alphabetical order.

His television career began when he won the Ted Mack & the Original Amateur Hour (1948) talent contest.  His most famous role, being secret agent Maxwell Smart (Agent 86) in the classic sitcom/spy spoof Get Smart (1965), which he also sometimes directed and wrote.  In the late 1950s, he made eleven appearances on The Steve Allen Show where Dana was part of the writing team. During the 1961-63 television seasons, he was a regular on NBC’s The Perry Como Show as part of The Kraft Music Hall Players.  He had a role on the NBC sitcom The Bill Dana Show (1963–65) as a bumbling hotel detective named Byron Glick.  Adams won three consecutive Emmys for his portrayal of Smart (1967–69).  He also provided the voices for the animated series Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales (1963–66) and Inspector Gadget (1983–85, as well as several revivals and spinoffs in the 1990s).

Adams died on September 25, 2005, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.  He suffered from lymphoma and a lung infection.

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Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki is an American investor, businessman, self-help author, motivational speaker, financial literacy activist, financial commentator, radio personality, and U.S. Marine.

Born on April 8, 1947, in Hilo, Hawaii, he is a fourth-generation Japanese-American.  After graduating from Hilo High School, he enrolled at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in New York, graduating in 1969.  After which, he worked on merchant ships, which allowed him to travel the world, exposing him to new cultures and new ways of life.  He witnessed the extremes of poverty that people face around the world and those experiences left an overwhelming impact on him.

In 1972, during the Vietnam War, he served as a helicopter pilot in the Marine Corps.  Two years later, he left the Marine Corps and moved to New York, to work for the Xerox Corporation, as a salesman for copy machines.

In 1977 he saved enough money to start a company that brought the first nylon Velcro surfer wallets to market.  As a means to limit the cost of the wallets, he didn’t pay attention to the quality of the products and that led to a downfall in demand, creating  a financial loss to the company.

Towards the beginning of the 1980s, he started a business that licensed t-shirts for heavy metal rock bands, such as Motley Crue. During this time, while business was booming, he invested in stocks and real estate.  When the preference for heavy metal bands gave way to softer music, business declined and his debts increased.  Eventually the company went broke and he was left penniless and homeless.

Not giving up on his endeavors, Robert believed that he had something to share with others.  From his experiences and knowledge with the previous companies’ successes and failures, he wanted to help people.  He wanted to teach them on how to avoid bankruptcy and achieve financial success.

He began working as a motivational speaker for a personal growth seminar business called Money and You, along with DC Cordova. The three-day seminar focused on teaching the works of Buckminster Fuller.  Predominantly present in Canada and United States, the popularity of the business allowed them to spread to Australia and New Zealand.

As the popularity, growth, and universal appeal of this business venture turned profitable, Robert became a multi-millionaire and left Money and You in 1994 to take up early retirement, at the age of 47.

During his early retirement, he actively invested in stocks and real estate and spent a lot of time writing a book.  Following the footsteps of his educator ‘poor dad’, and guidance and advice of his ‘rich dad’ (who in reality was his friend’s dad) he concentrated on combining the two lines of beliefs to come up with a book which highlighted the teaching of both men that had influenced his life.

He collaborated with Sharon Lechter and together they co-wrote the first Rich Dad, Poor Dad book. However, they could not find a publisher so they decided on publish it themselves.

After three years of he came back from retirement and launched a business and financial education company called, Cashflow Technologies Inc.  The company is co-owned by his wife, Kim Kiyosaki and co-writer Sharon Lechter; together they own and operate the brands, Rich Dad and Cashflow.

Rich Dad Poor Dad, was published in 2000; teaching readers the importance of building wealth through investments in real estate and starting a business.  The book has sold over 26 million copies and received positive reviews from some critics.  American talk show host and media mogul Oprah Winfrey endorsed the book on her show. Another celebrity supporter is actor Will Smith, who said he’s teaching his son about financial responsibility by reading the book.

American billionaire and 45th President of the United States Donald Trump has read and praised the book, comparing it to his own, 1987 literary debut of Trump: The Art of the Deal, which served as an inspirational book to Kiyosaki.  Trump and Kiyosaki later did a collaboration  in 2006 called Why We Want You To Be Rich, Two Men One Message and a second book called Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich-And Why Most Don’t in 2011. American fashion entrepreneur and investor Daymond John has called the book one of his favorites.

The success of the book led to the release of the future works, Rich Dad’s CASHFLOW Quadrant and Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing.

His first three books, Rich Dad Poor Dad, Rich Dad’s CASHFLOW Quadrant, and Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing, have been number one on the top 10 best-seller lists simultaneously on The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and the New York Times.  It was the success of these books that propelled him to continue with the series which comprises of 15 books.

Some of Robert’s investments include metals and coins, oil, solar, real estate properties, including developments, resorts, condominiums, and golf courses.

He encourages all of his employees to start their own business, not because he wants them to stop working for him, but he wants them to have multiple income streams so that they too can be successful.

You can learn more about Robert’s products by going to RichDad.com.

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Ed McMahon

  

Edward Leo Peter “Ed” McMahon, Jr. (March 6, 1923 – June 23, 2009) was an American comedian, actor, author, singer, game show host, announcer and U.S. Marine.

McMahon was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Edward Leo Peter McMahon, Sr., a fund-raiser and entertainer, and his wife Eleanor (Russell) McMahon.  He was raised in Lowell, Massachusetts often visiting his Aunt Mary Brennan at her home on Chelmsford Street. Ed began his career as a bingo caller in Maine when he was fifteen. Prior to this, he worked as a carnival barker for three years in Mexico, Maine.  He put himself through college as a pitchman for vegetable slicers on the Atlantic City boardwalk.  His first broadcasting job was at WLLH-AM in his native Lowell and he began his television career in Philadelphia at WCAU-TV.

Hoping to become a Marine Corps fighter pilot in World War II, both the Army and Navy required two years of college for their pilots program. Ed enrolled into classes at Boston College and studied there from 1940–41, before applying for Marine Corps flight training.  After completing the college requirement, he was able to join as he previously wished.  His primary flight training was in Dallas, followed by fighter training in Pensacola, Florida, where he also earned his carrier landing qualifications.  He was a Marine Corps flight instructor for two years, finally being ordered to the Pacific fleet in 1945.  However, his orders were canceled after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, forcing Japan’s surrender unconditionally.

As an officer in the Marine Corps reserves, Ed was recalled to active duty during the Korean War.  He flew the OE-1; the Marine Corps designation for the Cessna O-1 Bird Dog, an unarmed single-engine spotter plane.  He functioned as an artillery spotter for the Marine batteries on the ground and as a forward controller for the Navy and Marine fighter bombers.  He flew a total of 85 combat missions, earning six Air Medals.  After the Korean War, he stayed with the Marines as a reserve officer, retiring in 1966 as a colonel.  In 1982, he received a state commission as a brigadier general in the California Air National Guard, an honorary award to recognize his support for the National Guard and Reserves.

After World War II, McMahon studied at The Catholic University of America under the GI Bill and graduated in 1949.  He majored in speech and drama while studying under the Reverend Gilbert Hartke and was a member of Phi Kappa Theta fraternity.  After graduation, McMahon led the effort to raise funds for a theater to be named for Hartke and attended its dedication in 1970 with Helen Hayes and Sidney Poitier.

While working as Johnny Carson‘s sidekick during The Tonight Show, McMahon served as the president of the national alumni association from 1967 to 1971 and would often return to campus, especially for homecoming.  During the University’s centennial celebration in 1987, McMahon and comedian Bob Newhart performed.  He received an honorary Doctor of Communication Arts in 1988.

Today, the Ed McMahon Endowed Scholarship helps outstanding students and provides scholarship assistance to juniors and seniors who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree in either the Department of Drama or the Department of Media Studies within the School of Arts and Sciences.

McMahon died on June 23, 2009, at the age of 86, shortly after midnight at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.  No formal cause of death was given, but McMahon’s publicist attributed his death to the many health problems he had suffered over his final months.  McMahon had said that he still suffered from the injury to his neck in March 2007.

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