Early this morning, Daniel Ellsberg died peacefully in his home in Kensington, CA. His cause of death was pancreatic cancer, which was diagnosed February 17th. He was not in pain, and was surrounded by loving family. In the months since his diagnosis, he continued to speak out urgently to the media about nuclear dangers, especially the danger of nuclear war posed by the Ukraine war and Taiwan. (Links to the interviews are here.)
Daniel also shared many moments of love and joy in these months, including celebrating his 92nd birthday (April 7) and Patricia’s 85th birthday (April 26), and many visits and calls with friends and loved ones. He was thrilled to be able to give up the salt-free diet his doctor had him on for five years; hot chocolate, croissants, cake, poppyseed bagels, and lox gave him extra pleasure in these final months. He also enjoyed re-watching his favorite movies, including several viewings of his all-time favorite, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Thank you, everyone, for your outpouring of love, appreciation, and well-wishes to Dan in the previous months. It all warmed his heart at the end of his life.
In his final days, surrounded by so much love from so many people, Daniel joked, “If I had known dying would be like this, I would have done it sooner.” (Patricia replied, “Then I’m glad you didn’t.”)
Daniel was a seeker of truth and a patriotic truth-teller, an antiwar activist, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, a dear friend to many, and an inspiration to countless more. He will be dearly missed by all of us.
Thank you, Daniel, for sharing your wisdom, your heart, and your conscience with the world. We will keep your flame alive.
—Patricia, Mary, Robert, and Michael Ellsberg
Kensington, CA, 6/16/23
The Ellsberg family is extremely grateful to family friends Patrice Wynne, Jan Thomas (who began working as Daniel’s assistant in 1982), Tom Reifer, and Michele Reilly for their tireless and dedicated support in Daniel’s final months and weeks.
We are also extremely grateful to Nurse Jillian Tobin, Dr. Stephanie Marquet, and the entire Hospice East Bay team for providing Daniel and our family with impeccable care, compassion, and guidance during Daniel’s dying process.
Daniel’s surviving family:
Wife- Patricia Ellsberg (85)
Son- Robert Ellsberg (67)
Daughter- Mary Ellsberg (64)
Son- Michael Ellsberg (46)
(Robert’s children) Nicholas Ellsberg (36), Catherine Ellsberg (30), and Lukey Ellsberg (28)
(Mary’s children) Julio Martinez (38) and Ana Martinez (34)
Nicholas and Sophie Ellsberg have a daughter Eileen, age 3, Daniel’s great-granddaughter
[Photo by Christopher Michel 2020 @ChrisMichel. A note for media: Christopher took photos of Daniel and Patricia in 2020, and he has generously made them available via a Creative Commons attribution license here. Please credit them as follows: “Photo by Christopher Michel @ChrisMichel.” The Ellsberg family is grateful to Christopher for these beautiful photos, which captured Daniel and Patricia perfectly.]
Source: Daniel Ellsberg