Jonathan Larson

Creator of Tony-award winning musical RENT.

Born February 4th, 1960. Died January 25, 1996 at the age of 35.

Disease and Death

Jonathan Larson was a case of undetected, and undiagnosed Marfan Syndrome. He died of an aortic dissection, a result of his disease. News that he had the disease came after an autopsy of his body.

Marfan Syndrome is an inherited disease that causes faulty and weak connective tissues in a persons body.

"The opposite of war isn't peace, it's creation." -Jonathan Larson (RENT)


Symptoms of Marfan Syndrome include:

  • Tall and slender build, with loose joints.
  • Eye problems i.e. Glaucoma, cataracts, and dislocation.
  • Cardiovascular problems such as palpitations, fatigue, and aortic dilatation. (The stretching and weakening of the aortic wall)
  • Stretch Marks without any weight gain.


Marfan Syndrome is a defect in the gene that directs the make-up of Fibrillin-1, a protein that plays a vital role in the quality of the connective tissues in the body.


Jonathan Larson did not undergo treatment as he was unaware of his disease.

Patients of Marfan Syndrome get an individual specialized treatment program that consist of:

  1. Skeletal check ups. The skeletal system is examined for changes in the spine/sternum that could be damaging. A medical brace is sometimes prescribed to prevent disfiguration and further damage.
  2. Annual eye exams. Doctors will exam the eyes and correct /treat any optical damage caused by Marfan Syndrome.
  3. Regular check-ups and echocardiograms will help doctors monitor how well the patients heart is working, and the current state of their Aorta. If any stress/stretching is detected on the aorta, medication can be prescribed to decrease the stress.