David Canary’s Daughter Once Raised the Question if 'Football Killed Her Father'

Kate Canary, daughter of iconic actor David Canary, wondered if it was his time as a football player that led to him having brain disease much later in life.

In an op-ed for NY Daily News, Kate asks, “Did football kill my father?” She went on to talk about the life of his late father, who was known for playing Adam Chandler in the popular sitcom “All My Children.” The award-winning actor died of brain disease in 2015, at age 77.

David Canary arrives at an "All My Children" cabaret performance to benefit the Robin Hood Fund January 29, 2002 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

David Canary arrives at an "All My Children" cabaret performance to benefit the Robin Hood Fund January 29, 2002 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

“That was 56 years after his last blow to the head as a University of Cincinnati Bearcat — and 62 years since his first concussion as a Massillon Tiger,” she writes. “Had he not turned down a professional bid from the Denver Broncos to head to New York City and become an actor, the years may have been fewer.”

CORRELATION BETWEEN FOOTBALL AND BRAIN DISEASE

Kate then presents researches that link football to brain disease.

"There is, mercifully, no ignoring the evidence connecting the concussive blows inherent in football to various forms of dementia."

David Canary at Radio City Music Hall May 20, 2005 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

David Canary at Radio City Music Hall May 20, 2005 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

She writes, “It would be nearly impossible to draw the correlation between football and the onset of brain disease five decades later had doctors and scientists not already done so for me."

"There is, mercifully, no ignoring the evidence connecting the concussive blows inherent in football to various forms of dementia — including the type with which Dad was diagnosed, and the type that, I suspect, he actually had."  

In 2002, Dr. Bennet Omalu became the first person to diagnose a football-related occurrence of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive degenerative brain disease. This diagnosis was for Mike Webster, an NFL Hall-of-Famer who suffered mental illness and died at age 50.

ANOTHER ACTOR WITH DEMENTIA

David Canary was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease less than two years before his death.

Another actor afflicted with brain disease is “The Carol Burnett Show” star Tom Conway. The octogenarian actor was earlier reported to have been suffering from dementia.

The actor's daughter asked to be appointed as his conservator so that she may be in charge of his medical treatments, instead of his wife, whom she accused of planning to move him out of an excellent nursing facility.

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