Kerry Simon, a star and winner on Iron Chef America, has died at the age of 60 after a long battle with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA).
Simon, dubbed the “Rock n’ Roll chef” by Rolling Stone, passed away on Friday, September 11 in hospice care at Nathan Adelson Hospice, after his condition recently worsened. Kerry was diagnosed with the disease two years ago and prior to his death, he was confined to a wheelchair, unable to stand or walk on his own. The illness, which is incurable, also left him unable to speak, according to E! Online via MSN.
Below is the definition of Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke:
“Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a combination of symptoms that affect both the autonomic nervous system (the part of the nervous system that controls involuntary action such as blood pressure or digestion) and movement. The symptoms reflect the progressive loss of function and death of different types of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.”
Simon’s close friend, reporter and former Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous host, Robin Leach wrote in the Los Vegas Sun that Elizabeth Blau, his business partner and friend of 18 years, brought two Tibetan monks to the hospice on Friday to say bedside prayers as he peacefully slipped away.
“We will always remember Kerry fondly,” Leach wrote in part. “He was a gentle man who will be missed greatly. He was still young and handsome at 60 years of age. He didn’t smoke or drink alcohol, preferring his favorite juices regimen.”
Leach also thanked Simon’s doctors, Dr. Ryan Walsh and Dr. Jeff Cummings, at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Dr. Walsh issued a statement following Simon’s death, saying he “inspired research and innovation that will live on.”
“It was an honor to battle alongside Kerry Simon in his fight against MSA. While he leaves a well-known legacy as an Iron Chef, a rock and roll chef and one of Las Vegas’ culinary founders, we at the Cleveland Clinic will remember him as a hero whose courage in the final fight of his life, against MSA, has inspired research and innovation that will live on.
Our deepest condolences are with his family, and we will continue the fight against MSA in his name through our work at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.”
Kerry Simon, who had restaurants in Harrah’s, Palms Place, and at Carson Kitchen in Las Vegas, rose to fame when he was hired by Ivana Trump, then-wife of Donald Trump, to be the executive chef at the Plaza Hotel’s Edwardian Room.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]