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Only death could stop him

Below is the heft of the original obituary. Though Gehrig's death was grieved by many, the event was (as Gehrig's luck tended to go) overshadowed by a bigger international event - Kaiser Wilhelm, despised German emperor that played a key role in World War I, died the same day.

Printed in New York Times, June 3, 1941:

Gehrig, "Iron Man" Of Baseball, Dies at the Age of 37

Rare Disease Forced Famous Batter to Retire in 1939 - Played 2,130 Games in a Row

Set Many Hitting Marks

Native of New York, He Became Star of Yankees - Idol of Fans Throughout Nation

Lou Gehrig, former first baseman of the New York Yankees and one of the outstanding batsmen baseball has known, died at his home, 5204 Delafield Avenue, in the [Riverdale] section of the Bronx, last night. Death came to the erstwhile "Iron Man" at 10:10 o'clock. He would have been 38 years old on June 19.

Regarded by some observers as the greatest player ever to grace the diamond, Gehrig, after playing in 2,130 consecutive championship contests, was forced to end his career in 1939 when an ailment that had been hindering his efforts was diagnosed as a form of paralysis.

The disease was chronic, and for the last month Gehrig, had been confined to his home. He lost weight steadily during the final weeks and was reported twenty-five pounds under weight shortly before he died.

Member of Parole Board

Until his illness became more serious Gehrig went to his office regularly to perform his duties as a member of the New York City Parole Commission, a post he had held for a year and a half following his retirement from baseball. Ever hopeful that he would be able to conquer the rare disease - amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a hardening of the spinal cord - although the ailment was considered incurable by many, Gehrig stopped going to his desk about a month ago to conserve his strength.

Two weeks ago he was confined to his bed, and from that time until his death, his condition grew steadily worse. He was conscious until just before the end. At the bedside when he died were his wife, the former Eleanor Twitchell of Chicago; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Gehrig; his wife's mother, Mrs. Nellie Twitchell, and Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn.

It was said last night that funeral services would be private and would be held tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock in the Christ Episcopal Church in Riverdale. The Rev. Gerald V. Barry will officiate.

The body was taken this morning to the E. Willis Scott Funeral Parlor at 4 West Seventy-sixth Street.

Record Spanned Fifteen Years

When Gehrig stepped into the batter's box as a pinch hitter for the Yankees on June 1, 1925, he started a record that many believe will never be equaled in baseball. From that day on he never missed a championship game until April 30, 1939 - fifteen seasons of Yankee box scores with the name of Gehrig always in the line-up. He announced on May 2, 1939, that he would not play that day, and thus his streak came to an end.

But as brilliant as was his career, Lou will be remembered for more than his endurance record. He was a superb batter in his heyday and a prodigious clouter of home runs. The record book is liberally strewn with his feats at the plate.

Rest in peace.