What Is Merkel Cell Cancer, the Rare Disease That Claimed Jimmy Buffett?

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Jimmy Buffett died Friday, Sept.1.
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Jimmy Buffett is best known for his mega hit Margaritaville:

His music has been described as a mix of country, rock, and calypso. Fun music with lots of nautical and party themes.
He made a lot of money off of Margaritaville and Parrot Head themed stuff.
Parrot Heads are to Buffett as Dead Heads are to the Grateful Dead.

NY Times obit

NY Times related story

Scientific point of interest.
He died of a Merkel cell cancer. Never heard of that one before, but you can make a cancer out of almost any kind of a cell it seems.
Turns out its an aggressive, fast moving cancer. May not really be from a Merkel cell.
Merkel cells (discovered by Merkel I guess) are a special kind of cell in the skin that is only know for surrounding pressure sensitive (light touch) nerve cells in the skin.
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  • #3
phinds said:
Your links are behind paywalls (for people like me who decline "free" accounts that put you on interminable mailing lists).
Regrettable as the NY Times obit and articles are well written and informative. I had known that musician Buffet and Berkshire-Hathaway director Warren Buffet were friends but did not know Jimmy Buffett was a successful businessman listed by Forbes as a billionaire.

Mr. Buffett was one of pop music’s most successful and ambitious businessmen, building a huge empire on the brand of good times and island escapism that he sang about in his songs. ...

This year, Forbes estimated his net worth at $1 billion, with $570 million attributed to his tours and recording and $140 million in planes, homes and his shares in Berkshire Hathaway — the holding company whose chairman and CEO is multibillionaire investor Warren Buffett, who had been a longtime friend.

The article on his rare skin cancer diagnosis does not address whether the lifestyle advocated in Buffett's songs -- sun, sand and icy margaritas -- contributed to his demise. Not all skin cancers are attributed to solar exposure but irony still abounds.
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I had the pleasure of being stationed in Key West (The TCF site at Boca Chica) in the 70's (fun times) while he played at some of the Snake Bars in town. One of our hangouts on the Duval Crawl was at Captain Tony's bar where Jimmy Buffet was a regular drinker too.


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Klystron said:
-- sun, sand and icy margaritas -- contributed to his demise. Not all skin cancers are attributed to solar exposure but irony still abounds.
Everyone dies, but not everyone lives...there would seem to be worse ways to go than dying from over exposure to sun, sand, and excessive partying in one's late 70's. 🥳

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