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Famous People who Died of Venereal Disease

Antonia R.Antonia R.

Nowadays it's hard to find someone who has died of a venereal disease but in the past this was not at all uncommon. Even some of the most famous historical figures met their death after having bed adventures.

Friedrich Nietzsche

The German philosopher, composer and poet with scandalous behavior was admitted into a hospital after a severe mental breakdown, one which doctors were unable to explain at the time but which modern medicine defines as neurosyphilis. Even though Nietzsche was asexual in his adult years, in his youth a female cousin had sexually abused him, leading to the belief that this caused him to contract the venereal disease.


Mao Tse Tung

The Chinese dictator was a pathological debaucher and often took part in sex orgies. According to one of the theories, Mao was a firm believer in the old legend that if one were to have sex with 1000 virgins he would become immortal. And even though he exhibited obvious symptoms of venereal diseases, Mao Tse Tung refused any treatment.

Christopher Columbus

The discoverer of the New World suffered from syphilis and was even accused of being the one who brought venereal diseases to America. Columbus himself and one of his captains had sexual relations with the natives and infected them with the diseases.


William Shakespeare

The true identity of Shakespeare, one of the most famous writers of all times, is still a mystery but researchers of his biography believe that he suffered from syphilis and that it was the cause of his death.

Guy de Maupassant

The famous French writer was also known as the Casanova of his time. It is said that he slept with over 300 women. One of these infected him with syphilis. He was admitted to a clinic but the disease was already in an advanced stage and he was unable to save himself.

Paul Gauguin

The French post-Impressionist artist died of syphilis at 55 years of age. His wounds were quite severe and he had to wrap them himself. As the disease worsened, he was no longer able to get out of bed, his eyes became seriously inflamed and he suffered heart attacks.