The Most Famous Men With Thyroid Disease

Many people think thyroid disease only affects women. While women make up the majority of people with thyroid conditions, some of the estimated 20 million-plus Americans with a thyroid problem are men, including men from the worlds of politics, entertainment, and sports. Get to know the 10 most-famous men with thyroid disease.

Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT) speaks on his agenda for America during a news conference on Capitol Hill April 30, 2015 in Washington, DC.
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Sen. Bernie Sanders

It's not clear when former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was diagnosed, but like many older men, Sen. Sanders has hypothyroidism — an underactive thyroid — and is treated with levothyroxine. While Sanders hasn't spoken about it publicly, the information was released in his official campaign medical letter during the 2016 primaries.

 Liam Gallagher of 'Beady Eye' performs live on the Other Stage at day 2 of the 2013 Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 28, 2013 in Glastonbury, England.
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Rockstar Liam Gallagher

Liam Gallagher, former front man for the band Oasis, discussed his diagnosis with Hashimoto's in a 2017 interview in the Guardian. According to Gallagher:

“I’ve got a thyroid problem — Hashimoto’s disease — so I can get a really hoarse voice. It makes you tired and your bones are creaky ..."

Ronaldo of Real Madrid celebrates his goal during the Primera Liga match between Real Madrid and Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on February 4, 2006 in Madrid, Spain.
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Soccer legend Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima

Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in 2007 at age 30. In announcing his retirement from soccer in 2011, Ronaldo said:

“I found out that I was suffering from a problem that is called hypothyroidism, a complaint which slows your metabolism, and that to control it I would have to take medication which is considered illegal in football. A lot of people should feel bad about their comments on my weight: I just wanted to explain that, now that I have reached the end."

Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder looks on before the New England Patriots play the Washington Redskins during an preseason NFL game at FedExField on August 7, 2014.
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Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder

Dan Snyder — the controversial businessman, billionaire, and owner of the Washington Redskins football team — was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2001 and underwent a thyroidectomy. Eight years, later, Snyder said this of his experience with thyroid cancer:

“It sure ages you and matures you pretty quickly. I joked with my friends when I got cancer; I felt like Superman and now they took my cape.”

Former U.S. President George Bush visits a tent camp for earthquake survivors on the outskirts of Islamabad on January 17, 2006 in Pakistan.
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President George H.W. Bush

George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of the United States, was diagnosed with Graves’ disease in 1991 after an episode of atrial fibrillation. According to his personal physician, Dr. Burton Lee, former President Bush was “bothered” by the initial uncertainty over the cause of the heart problem but was “very gratified by finding out that we had determined a cause.” Interestingly, his late wife, First Lady Barbara Bush, lived with Graves’ disease for decades as well.

Singer Rod Stewart performs at CBS's 8th Annual 'A Home for the Holidays' at Ren-Mar Studios on November 12, 2006 in Los Angeles, California.
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Rock legend Rod Stewart

Rock singer Rod Stewart was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2012. Stewart said:

“Any slip [of the surgeon's knife] would have been ‘Goodnight, Vienna’ as far as my career was concerned. But the operation was a complete success ... no chemotherapy was required — which, in turn, meant there was no risk that I’d lose my hair. And let’s face it: If we’re ranking threats to the survival of my career, losing my hair would be second only to losing my voice.”

Tarek El Moussa attends 102.7 KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2017 presented by Capital One at The Forum on December 1, 2017 in Inglewood, California.
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Reality-TV star Tarek El Moussa

Realtor-turned-reality star Tarek El Moussa has been on HGTV’s hit show, “Flip or Flop,” for years. El Moussa was lucky that one observant fan, registered nurse Ryan Reade, noticed a lump on El Moussa’s neck in 2013, and contacted the show’s producers. After the thyroid nodule was biopsied, he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. After the diagnosis, El Moussa said:

“We're gonna fight through this cancer, 'cause the second you slow down is the second it gets scary and you start getting depressed.”

Comedian Joe Piscopo attends SNL 40th Anniversary Celebration at Rockefeller Plaza on February 15, 2015 in New York City.
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Comedian Joe Piscopo

Comedian Joe Piscopo was diagnosed with thyroid cancer during his successful time as a “SNL” cast member in the early 1980s. According to Piscopo, who recovered from the thyroid cancer and is now a successful radio host: “It scares the hell out of you when you get the C-word.”

Ben Crenshaw of the United States walks to the 18th green while playing his final Masters during the second round of the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club.
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Championship golfer Ben Crenshaw

Ben Crenshaw won the 1984 Masters Golf Tournament, but later that year, noticed that he was losing weight rapidly, and experiencing muscle weakness, shaky hands, and red, irritated eyes. He saw a doctor in late 1985 and was diagnosed with Graves’ disease and hyperthyroidism.

Crenshaw said of that time:

“I have never suffered as much in my life as when I had this problem and didn't know what was wrong with me. I didn't know I could feel that bad, and I don't want to feel that way again.”

Film critic Roger Ebert accepts the ShoWest Career Achievement in Film Journalism Award at the Paris Las Vegas during ShoWest
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Film critic Roger Ebert

Beloved film critic and writer Roger Ebert was diagnosed with both thyroid cancer and salivary gland cancer in 2002. His cancers resulted in the loss of his lower jaw in 2006, seriously impairing his ability to eat, and leaving him disfigured and unable to speak. Ebert, however, continued to write for another seven years, until his death in 2013. Ebert said:

“When I am writing my problems become invisible and I am the same person I always was. All is well. I am as I should be.”

Mary Shomon
Meet Our Writer
Mary Shomon

Mary Shomon is a patient advocate and New York Times bestselling author who empowers readers with information on thyroid and autoimmune disease, diabetes, weight loss and hormonal health from an integrative perspective. Mary has been a leading force advocating for more effective, patient-centered hormonal healthcare. Mary also co-stars in PBS’ Healthy Hormones TV series. Mary also serves on HealthCentral’s Health Advocates Advisory Board.