12 Historical Figures Who Suffered From Diseases Since Cured or Made Treatable

The greatest humans can be brought down by the smallest things. Many historical figures, some of whom changed the world in fundamental ways, weren't brought down by epic struggles or grand battles, but suffered or perished from diseases then deemed incurable. Thankfully, science and medicine constantly evolve, and understanding of diseases improves with this evolution. Today's incurable ailment may be tomorrow's eradicated disease; it's often just a matter of time, resources, and knowledge.

Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to benefit from advances in medicine. No amount of historical magnitude can make a person immune to a lethal illness. Many famous men and women who shaped history died as the result of what are now cured diseases. Put on your biohazard suit and wander into the germ-ridden past, sadly filled with tales of historical figures who suffered or died from diseases since cured. 

Photo: FDR Presidential Library & Museum / Flickr / CC-BY 2.0