WebMD News Brief

Eddie Van Halen Dies of Cancer at 65


Oct. 7, 2020 -- Much of the world found out about the death of legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen, 65, when they read a sweet but heartbreaking tweet from his son.

"I can't believe I'm having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning," tweeted Wolfgang Van Halen, who is the band's bassist on Tuesday. "He was the best father I could ever ask for."

The cause of death was throat cancer, according to the Los Angeles Times, although his ex-wife, actress Valerie Bertinelli, mentioned lung cancer treatment in her tweet. Previously, press reports have discussed Van Halen's tongue cancer and his more than a decade long long battle with cancer.

Van Halen is considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time. He founded the band Van Halen in 1972 and was known for energetic performances and songs ("Runnin' with the Devil," "Dance the Night Away," "Jump") and platinum-selling singles and albums.

In press reports, Van Halen often pointed to his long habit of keeping the guitar's metal pick in his mouth as a cause of his cancer. He also was a heavy smoker.

He is survived by his wife Janie and his son.

WebMD Health News Brief


Los Angeles Times: "Eddie Van Halen, grinning guitar god for a rock generation, dead at 65."

TMZ: “Eddie Van Halen Dead at 65.”

Twitter, @WolfVanHalen, Oct. 6, 2020.

© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.