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Joseph Merrick

Joseph Carey Merrick (5 August 1862 – 11 April 1890)

An unblemished baby at birth, Merrick’s physical abnormalities began to manifest as he grew up in Leicester, England. After leaving home and a stint in the workhouse, Merrick found work as a ‘curiosity’. It was during this period in his life that he met Dr. Frederick Treves.

Merrick tragically died of asphyxia when attempting to lie down and sleep ‘like other people’. His legacy includes a play and the 1980 David Lynch film.

To this day, the precise cause of his condition remains unknown.