What was Charlie Hill’s cause of death? Google Doodle honours comedian

Bruno Cooke July 6, 2022
What was Charlie Hill’s cause of death? Google Doodle honours comedian

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Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Native American standup comedian Charlie Hill, of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, who died in 2013 – what was his cause of death?

Hill’s first network appearance was on The Richard Pryor Show, in 1977.

It catapulted him into the public eye, leading to appearances on the sofas of Carson, Leno and Letterman.

He lived to be 62 years old, and enjoyed a long career in comedy, but what was Charlie Hill’s cause of death, and what was his net worth when he died?

Photo by: Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

What was Native American comedian Charlie Hill’s cause of death?

Charlie Hill died of lymphoma on 30 December 2013. He was 62 years old.

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, part of the human body’s germ-fighting network – per Mayo Clinic. It includes the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus gland and bone marrow. Lymphoma can affect all those areas, plus other organs too.

Charlie Hill had been battling lymphoma for over a year, Indian Country reported in early December of 2013. His family, in need of help, had set up a fund in Hill’s name on Ever Ribbon.

The campaign picked up steam. While the archived version of the webpage doesn’t show how much financial support it received in total, there are numerous donations of over $100 each, and a smattering of four-figure donations.

Photo by Brian To/FilmMagic

How did Charlie’s fans react to his death at the time?

Indian Country Today Media Network collected numerous tributes Charlie Hill’s fans had penned the day he died. 

Actor Gary Farmer wrote: “My sincere condolences to family, friends, and fans for my long time friend, Charlie Hill who passed on early this morning”. 

They met in Oneida, Wisconsin in the early 1980s and remained friends until Hill’s death in 2013. 

Fellow comic Roseanne Barr described him as a “revolutionary stand up comic and wordsmith”. Shelah Erickson, another comedian, wrote that it was a “sad day”.

“A pioneer in comedy for all has lost his battle with lymphoma. RIP Charlie Hill. You paved the way.”

Photo by Dr. Billy Ingram/WireImage

How common is lymphoma?

The cancer that caused Charlie Hill’s death, at the relatively young age of 62, comes in two main subtypes: Hodgkin lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Both occur in the lymphatic system. However, the primary difference between Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma has to do with the type of lymphocyte that is affected.

Lymphocytes are white blood cells – they’re fundamental to your body’s immune response. 

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is one of the most common cancers in the US. It accounts for about 4% (or 1 in 25) of all cancer cases. 

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What was Charlie Hill’s net worth at time of death?

Accounts vary slightly, but several sites agree that the late Native American comedian Charlie Hill’s net worth was somewhere between $1.5 million and $2 million when he died.

Popular Bio is something of an outlier in this regard, giving Hill an estimated $76 million net worth. 

Note, however, that the same website also says his net worth was between $1 million and $3 million in 2022 – presumably referring to the value of his estate, rather than his own personal wealth.

Whatever his exact accumulated wealth was, the fact that his family needed to set up an Ever Ribbon Charlie Hill Fund suggests a net worth on the lower end. 

They were seeking donations for his care, as well as to support his immediate family, which consisted of his wife Lenora Hatathlie, two sons, two daughters and a granddaughter.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.