The Deaths of The Marlboro Men

The Deaths of The Marlboro Men


The deaths of the men seen in the Marlboro commercials have also been associated with smoking.


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Five men who appeared in Marlboro-related advertisements, Wayne McLaren, David McLean, Dick Hammer, Eric Lawson, Jerome Edward Jackson died of smoking-related diseases, thus earning Marlboro cigarettes, specifically Marlboro Reds, the nickname "Cowboy killers".

Wayne McLaren testified in favor of anti-smoking legislation at the age of 51. During the time of McLaren's anti-smoking activism, Philip Morris denied that McLaren ever appeared in a Marlboro ad, a position it later amended to maintain that while he did appear in ads, he was not the Marlboro Man; Winfield held that title. In response, McLaren produced an affidavit from a talent agency that had represented him, along with a paycheck stub, asserting he had been paid for work on a 'Marlboro print' job. McLaren died before his 52nd birthday in 1992.

David McLean died of lung cancer at the age of 73 in 1995. After his death, his widow, Lilo McLean, sued Philip Morris, claiming that McLean's disease was brought on because he had to smoke multiple packs of cigarettes during advertising shoots. Her case was dismissed and she was forced to pay the cigarette company's court case costs.

Eric Lawson, who appeared in Marlboro print ads from 1978 to 1981, died at the age of 72 on January 10, 2014, of respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. A smoker since age 14, Lawson later appeared in an anti-smoking commercial that parodied the Marlboro Man, and also in an Entertainment Tonight segment to discuss the negative effects of smoking.

Jerome Edward Jackson died of lung cancer in 2008 and was a former owner of the world-renowned "Deer Run" Mastiff kennels.


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