Rudy Boesch

Rudy Boesch
Rudy Boesch.jpg
Boesch delivers opening remarks for the third annual Rudy Run SEAL Challenge at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek in 2007
Birth nameRudolph Ernst Boesch
Born(1928-01-20)January 20, 1928
Rochester, New York, U.S.
DiedNovember 1, 2019(2019-11-01) (aged 91)
Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S.
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1944–1990
RankU.S. Navy E9 infobox.png Master chief petty officer
UnitU.S. Navy SEALs
Battles/warsVietnam War
AwardsBronze Star
Defense Superior Service Medal
Other work

Rudolph "Rudy" Ernst Boesch (ʃ/ BOSH; January 20, 1928 – November 1, 2019) was a 45-year veteran and United States Navy SEAL and a two-time competitor on the reality competition show Survivor.

Born and raised in Rochester, New York, Boesch enlisted in the United States Navy at age 17. He became a Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) Frogman in 1951, serving on two UDT Teams. He was chosen as one of the first SEALs, becoming Chief of the Boat of newly created SEAL Team TWO in 1962. Starting in 1968 and 1970, Boesch completed two combat deployments during the Vietnam War, where he earned the Bronze Star for heroic action. During that time and later, Boesch set physical and operational standards at SEAL Team TWO. In 1987, he became Senior Enlisted Advisor for United States Special Operations Command. Designated the "Bullfrog", the longest-serving SEAL still on active duty, Boesch achieved considerable renown within the force for his physical fitness training regimens and his military appearance. After 45 years of continuous service, he retired from the Navy in 1990 as a master chief petty officer.

The oldest competitor on the inaugural Survivor: Borneo at 72 years of age, Boesch finished in third place. The program was the top-rated show on American television during summer 2000, and with his gruff, cantankerous manner, and his politically incorrect "Rudyisms", he became one of the show's most popular contestants. Boesch set the age record again when he competed on Survivor: All-Stars at 75. He parlayed his fame into several other television appearances, including hosting the show Combat Missions in 2002.

Early life

Boesch was born in Rochester, New York on January 20, 1928,[1] the son of Austrian immigrants Clara (a housewife) and August (a butcher).[2] Boesch credited his parents' Central European upbringing for instilling him with discipline and work ethic. He attended a Catholic primary school in Rochester; he later recalled that the nuns teaching there "beat intelligence into you. We did a little bit of everything – arithmetic, geography, honesty. Those were the things we learned."[3] Boesch's father fought for the German Army during World War I, inspiring him to seek military service as well.[4]

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