Herman Wedemeyer was a man of many talents and achievements. He was a college football star, a professional athlete, a politician, and an actor. He was also a beloved figure in his home state of Hawaii, where he was known as the Flyin’ Hawaiian. But what was Herman Wedemeyer’s cause of death, and how did he impact the world?
Early Years and Football Career
Herman Wedemeyer was born on May 20, 1924, in Hilo, Hawaii. He attended St. Louis School in Honolulu, where he excelled in both football and baseball. He earned the nickname “Squirmin’ Herman” for his elusive running style and the “Hula-Hipped Hawaiian” for his agility and speed.
Wedemeyer continued his football career at St. Mary’s College in California, where he became one of the best players in the nation. In 1945, he finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting, the highest ever for a player from Hawaii. He was also named an Associated Press All-American and inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1979.
Wedemeyer was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in 1947, but he opted to play for the Los Angeles Dons of the All-America Football Conference. He led the league in punt return yardage in 1948, but he was waived by the Dons the next year. He then signed with the Baltimore Colts, where he played his final season in 1949.
Political and Acting Career
After retiring from football, Wedemeyer returned to Hawaii and entered politics. He was elected to the Honolulu City Council as a Republican in 1968, and then to the Hawaii House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1970. He served as the chairman of the Committee on Tourism and advocated for the development of the state’s economy and culture.
Wedemeyer also pursued an acting career, landing his most famous role as Edward D. “Duke” Lukela on the popular crime drama Hawaii Five-O. He appeared in 143 episodes from 1971 to 1980, portraying a loyal and reliable detective who worked with the elite Five-O squad. He also appeared in the first episode of the show as Lt. Balta of the Honolulu Police Department.
Herman Wedemeyer Cause of Death and Legacy
Herman Wedemeyer died on January 25, 1999, at the age of 74, in Honolulu. According to the Washington Post, he died of complications from a heart attack, which he suffered a week earlier. He was survived by his wife, two daughters, two sons, and several siblings.
Wedemeyer left behind a legacy of excellence and versatility in sports, politics, and entertainment. He was a trailblazer for Hawaiian athletes and a role model for many generations. He was also a beloved figure in his community, where he was known for his generosity and kindness. He was honored with several awards and recognitions, including the Order of Ke Ali’i Pauahi from the Kamehameha Schools and the Living Legend Award from the Hawaii International Film Festival.
Herman Wedemeyer’s cause of death may have taken him away from the world, but his spirit and achievements live on in the hearts and minds of his fans and admirers. He was truly the Flyin’ Hawaiian, a man who soared above and beyond in everything he did.