Rudy Boesch, ‘Survivor’ Fan Favorite & Oldest Competitor, Dies At 91
Decorated U.S. Navy Seal and Survivor contestant Rudy Boesch has died at age 91 this past Friday at a hospice center in Virginia Beach.
“We can confirm that Master Chief Rudy Boesch passed away last night. He was surrounded by his family and passed away peacefully,” the statement read. “He proudly served our nation from 1944-1990 and his impact on the men and women of Naval Special Warfare and the Special Operations Command is immeasurable.” Steve “Gonzo” Gonzalez, director of operations at the SEAL Veterans Foundation, confirmed in a statement.
The statement continued, “Rudy’s legacy and reputation as the “Master Chief” will live on forever in the SEAL Teams and those who enjoyed his company. … Rudy was beloved by all and will be deeply missed.”
Before his retirement, Boesch was honored as chief SEAL, or bullfrog. The title marks his time as the longest-serving SEAL still on active duty. He remained involved after he left the Navy, serving on the board of directors of the UDT-SEAL Association.
Then, years after completing military service, Boesch competed in the first season of the reality show “Survivor” making him the oldest contestant to date. At 75, he competed in “Survivor: All Stars” holding on to his record as the oldest competitor on the show ever.
Richard Hatch, Boesch’s co-star on Season 1 of the show, paid tribute to him on social media.
Ours was an interesting bond, Dear Rudy! You and I helped open minds and undermine predjudces. While your time here has passed, you will remain loved and iconic, dear friend!
— Richard Hatch (@HatchRichard) November 2, 2019
Rob Cesternino, Boesch’s “All-Stars” co-star also paid tribute on social media.
I heard the news today about my old roommate RUDY BOESCH passing away. While I’m incredibly sad for the Boesch family, I’m so happy for the time that he and I shared and the many, many laughs we had on our adventure. RIP Rudy pic.twitter.com/XnQpr73uqx
— Rob Cesternino 🛎 (@robcesternino) November 2, 2019
Boesch died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.