Frank Bender Passes Away from Mesothelioma

Sadly, another public figure has passed away from mesothelioma after years of asbestos exposure earlier in his life.

Frank Bender, a well-known forensic sculptor who came to be known as the “recomposer of the dead,” passed away from mesothelioma last month at the age of 70 after battling the deadly asbestos disease for nearly two years.

The asbestos exposure that likely caused Bender’s eventual mesothelioma diagnosis may have come during his years working in the engine room of a navy ship before he began his career as a forensic sculptor. He joins a group of notable public figures who have passed away from mesothelioma, including NFL Hall of Famer Merlin Olsen, Olympic gold medalist Terrence McCann, musician Warren Zevon, actor Steve McQueen, architect Paul Rudolph, and band manager Malcolm McLaren.

Bender became well known throughout the U.S. – and attained local fame in Philadelphia where he was born and raised – following his involvement in the case of John List, a N.J. man who disappeared after killing his family in 1971. A Bender-designed bust of List’s head that reflected what he would look like 18 years after the murders that was used in an 1989 episode of “America’s Most Wanted” that resulted in the murderer’s capture and eventual conviction

“In many ways, Frank’s bust of John List really launched “America’s Most Wanted” into a national force for catching fugitives,” America’s Most Wanted host John Walsh said in 2009, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Whenever I get the tough cases, I call Frank.”

If you have previously served in any branch of the U.S. military and are now suffering from mesothelioma cancer, you may be entitled to financial compensation from companies that manufactured or sold asbestos products and may be at fault for the illness. Contact a mesothelioma attorney if you have any questions about pursuing a mesothelioma lawsuit and/or would like to take action.