Aaron, the 86-year-old Hall of Famer and longtime Atlanta Braves right fielder, did not die from his first COVID-19 vaccine dose.
Major League Baseball legend and Atlanta entrepreneur Hank Aaron’s cause of death has been revealed.
The 86-year-old Hall of Famer and longtime Atlanta Braves right fielder died of natural causes, according to an investigator in the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Aaron died Friday in his sleep.
“We are absolutely devastated by the passing of our beloved Hank,” Braves Chairman Terry McGuirk wrote earlier this week in a statement. “He was a beacon for our organization first as a player, then with player development, and always with our community efforts.”
Last week’s news of Aaron’s death sparked some controversy on social media because he got the first of two coronavirus vaccine doses on Jan. 4 and had encouraged other Black Americans to get vaccinated as well. The ongoing distrust in the vaccine in the Black community may have been further exacerbated by Aaron’s passing.
“I don’t have any qualms about it at all, you know. I feel quite proud of myself for doing something like this,” Aaron said at the time, alongside a host of other respected Black seniors getting vaccinated at Morehouse School of Medicine. “It’s just a small thing that can help zillions of people in this country.”
As previously reported, Aaron’s death was confirmed by his daughter. The legendary player and businessman was lauded by celebrities and past presidents after his passing.
In 2002, President George W. Bush awarded him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Born Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron in Mobile, Alabama in 1934 to Herbert and Estella Aaron, he began his professional career in the Negro Leagues in 1951 and debuted in Major League Baseball at the age of 23. He endured racist taunts and death threats but went on to cement his place in history.
While many Blacks maintain an understandable distrust in vaccination, the COVID-19 virus has also disproportionately affected Black people both in higher death rates and financial devastation.
President Joe Biden has vowed to make vaccine administration equitable through mobile clinics, vaccination centers and community partnerships.