Good Morning America’s animal expert Jack Hanna, 74, has been diagnosed with dementia thought to be Alzheimer’s disease, his family shares
The family of respected animal expert Jack Hanna announced that he has been diagnosed with dementia.
In a letter shared on Wednesday, his three children revealed that the 74-year-old wildlife aficionado may have Alzheimer’s disease.
Hanna was best known for bringing unusual animals on to the morning show Good Morning America as well as The Late Show with David Letterman.
Health update: The family of respected animal expert Jack Hanna announced that he has been diagnosed with dementia. In a letter shared on Wednesday, his three children revealed that the 74-year-old wildlife aficionado may have Alzheimer’s disease. Seen with Betty White in 2014
His day job was as Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
‘Today, we reach out to share some personal Hanna Family news,’ his kids Kathaleen, Suzanne and Julie, said in a letter.
‘Doctors have diagnosed our dad, Jack Hanna, with dementia now believed to be Alzheimer’s disease.’
And his children added that the dementia has moved quickly.
‘His condition has progressed much faster in the last few months than any of us could have anticipated,’ the letter read.
‘Sadly, Dad is no longer able to participate in public life as he used to, where people all over the world watched, learned and laughed alongside him.’
But the letter added: ‘While Dad’s health has deteriorated quickly, we can assure you that his great sense of humor continues to shine through,’ his family wrote. ‘And yes – he still wears his khakis at home.’
The Hanna family asked for privacy moving forward.
‘Which is ironic, given Dad’s love of interacting with people,’ they wrote. ‘We are grateful that the many hearts he’s touched over the years are with him during this journey, which gives us strength.’
He started appeared on Good Morning America’ in the early 1980s, often melting the hearts of the audience as he brought live animals on set.
The star kept his composure as the exotic animals often climbed on him or ran off set.
He was also seen on The Late Show with David Letterman, Entertainment Tonight, Larry King Live, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Hollywood Squares.