Healthy Living

15 Famous People Whose Lives Are Touched by Parkinson's Disease

9. Margaret Bourke-White

Margaret Bourke-White is a Time Magazine photographer, and she is best known as the first foreigner to photograph the USSR’s five-year plan. Margaret announced her illness when no one dared to talk about the disease. Actually, she is the first “celebrity” who announced that she has Parkinson's.

Margaret Bourke-White first experienced Parkinson’s symptoms in 1952 when she was only 48 years old. She continued her work despite the debilitating symptoms and documented her illness in a Life Magazine spread called “Famous Lady’s Indomitable Fight.” Bourke-White fought through her symptoms all her life and even underwent a series of operations, including Chemothalamectomy. Chemothalamectomy is electrical stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus in the brain, which is used in advanced Parkinson’s Disease. The treatment helped her symptoms, but Margaret Bourke-White died from Parkinson’s in 1971.

Photo: Margaret Bourke-White in 1954 by Kristine