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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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White's autopsy reveals disease
A respiratory ailment, combined with other health problems, contributed to the star player's death.
Published December 28, 2004
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Reggie White might have died because of a respiratory disease combined with other health problems, a preliminary autopsy report said Monday.
White, 43, most likely had a condition that affected the amount of air his lungs could hold, resulting in "fatal cardiac arrhythmia," said Dr. Mike Sullivan, the medical examiner for Mecklenburg County and a forensic pathologist.
The report issued by Sullivan's office also said sleep apnea might have been a factor.
The report is a preliminary one. Determining a final cause of death could take up to three months, Sullivan's office said.
White died Sunday at Presbyterian Hospital in Huntersville after his wife, Sara, called 911.
White had the disease, known as sarcoidosis, for several years, family spokesman Keith Johnson said Sunday.
White and his wife lived in a gated community on Lake Norman. They had two children, Jeremy, a freshman at Elon College in Elon, and a daughter, Jecolia, a junior in high school.
A public viewing will be held 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at A.L. Jinwright Funeral Service in Charlotte. A private service also will be held, although the details won't be made public.
A two-time NFL defensive player of the year and an ordained minister who was known as the "Minister of Defense," White played 15 seasons with Philadelphia, Green Bay and Carolina. He retired after the 2000 season as the career sacks leader with 198. The mark has since been passed by Bruce Smith.
A member of the NFL's 75th anniversary team, White was elected to the Pro Bowl a record 13 straight times from 1986-98.
White worked tirelessly with disadvantaged youths. But his image was tarnished when he gave a speech in which he denounced homosexuality and used ethnic stereotypes. White later apologized.
White remained close to the Packers organization after his farewell season in 1998 and often visited Green Bay.
Quarterback Brett Favre called White "the best player I've ever played with or against," and said the Super Bowl ring they won after the 1996 season wouldn't have been possible without him.
"When he signed as a free agent, he changed the way people in and out of football looked at Green Bay as an NFL city," Favre said in a statement.
Coach Mike Sherman said he called White last week after watching a show about sports and spirituality that featured him. "I talked to him about where he was with his life and with his family and football," Sherman said.
The Packers are exploring ways to honor White at their wild-card playoff game next week. Next season, they plan to make him the fifth Packers player to have his jersey retired.
White was honored with a video tribute before the Eagles-Rams game in St. Louis on Monday night.
Fans, one of them holding a sign that read "We Love You 92", stood during the memorial and observed a moment of silence.
"It just seems so odd, so surreal," said former Packers teammate Eugene Robinson, now a commentator for Carolina, where White spent his final season. "I'm still like, "I don't believe it."'